The Metropolitan Police is warning of a new card fraud telephone scam. This is how it works:
You receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from your bank. He or she will say their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or that your card is due to expire and needs replacing.
You may be asked to ring back using the telephone number on the back of your card - which further convinces you that the call is genuine. However, the caller keeps the line open at their end so, when you make the call, you are unknowingly connected straight back to the fraudster.
Then, by seeming to offer assistance, the fraudster tries to gain your trust. In most cases you are asked to ‘cancel’ your existing card or ‘activate’ or ‘authorise’ a replacement card by keying your PIN into the handset of your phone.
The fraudster then poses as a bank representative who agrees to collect your card from your home, sometimes offering you a replacement card, which is a fake.
In some cases a genuine courier company is hired to pick up the card from your home address. The victim will have been asked to place the card into an envelope ready for collection. Once they have your card and PIN the fraudster uses them to spend your money.
A variation of the scam involves the fraudster ringing a prospective victim and claiming to be from the police – again with the aim of going to the victim’s home to collect the card and PIN.
What can I do to avoid being a victim of this scam?
- Be aware that neither your bank nor the police would ever ring you and state that they are coming to your home to pick up your card, so never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it.
- Your bank will NEVER ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN into the telephone handset.
- NEVER share your PIN with anyone – the only times you should use your PIN is at a cash machine or when you use a chip and PIN machine in a shop / restaurant.
I think I might have been a victim of this scam - what should I do?
- If the criminals are nearby ring the Police immediately on 999, otherwise report the crime to your local Police via 101.
- If you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam of this nature you should also call your bank or card company immediately.
For further advice about fraud and scams visit the Metropolitan Police website at: www.met.police.uk/fraudalertBack to top
Most crimes are against property and are usually committed on the spur of the moment, such as grabbing a bag from a car or going through an open house window. You can reduce risks by simply securing your home and car. Trying to prevent crime like this helps the police too, as it gives them more time to tackle serious crime. This in turn benefits you, as it makes your neighbourhood a safer place to live in.
The best way to cut the risk of crime is to take sensible precautions. Most people already do this as part of their everyday lives, often without realising it.
Haringey Council’s website offers some helpful advice on simple ways to avoid crime and protect yourself and your community. It includes useful information on:
- your personal safety
- securing your home, inside and out
- keeping an eye on strangers
- dealing with intruders
- your community and neighbourhood watch
- secured car parks
- youth crime prevention.
When it comes to community safety, we always welcome your observations and suggestions.
Think safe and be safe - if you know that there are risks make sure that you don't take them.Back to the top
If there is a fire in your flat:
- Alert others in your flat to get out if possible.
- Get out of the building.
- Close doors behind you.
- Don't use lifts. Use stairs.
- Call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.
If you're trapped in your flat:
- Block gaps around doors with wet towels.
- Stay in one room near a window and with a phone.
- Call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.
- Give your address and flat number and follow instructions.
If there's a fire elsewhere in the building:
- Stay in your flat. This is usually safer unless heat or smoke is affecting you. Flats and maisonettes are built to protect you from fire to some extent. Walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for a while.
- Stay near a window and listen to instructions from the emergency services.
If there's a lot of smoke:
- Keep close to the floor where the air will be clearer
Remember the following:
- Closing doors slows down the spread of the fire and reduces the main danger – smoke.
- Keep escape routes clear – don’t keep large items such as furniture on shared balconies and landings.
- Don’t wedge self-closing doors open. These doors are normally fire-resistant. They help to stop fire and smoke spreading, but only when they are closed. If any of the self-closing doors are not working properly, please report it to us on 0800 195 3404.
- Before you go to bed or go out, close as many doors in your flat as you can. If a fire does start, this will help to stop it spreading.
- You should unplug all electrical appliances when you are not using them, especially overnight.
Smoke alarms are a cheap way of giving you early warning of a fire. You can buy them in most hardware shops and supermarkets. If you have smoke alarms, they should be on stair landings and outside the kitchen or bedrooms (or both). You should also check the batteries each week.
You can also find a wealth of information about how to reduce fire risk in your home on the government's fire safety information on the GOV.UK website.Back to the top
This page belongs to the following categories :
- Policing and public safety
- Policing and public safety > Crime and law enforcement