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Planning Retirement Online

Theft by deception alert!

Criminals target high net worth individuals

Earlier this year, it emerged that criminals are obtaining a person’s private financial data (specifically credit and bank card details) through an elaborate deception. At the moment, this appears to be confined to
certain areas of West and South West London, with high net worth individuals being targeted.

Theft by deception

The thieves contact an individual by telephone, purporting to be from their bank or credit card company, suggesting that they have been targeted by criminals and need to give a variety of personal data ranging from bank and card details through to details about security at their house and personal possessions.

The victim is then encouraged to call their local police station and is given the correct telephone
number to do so. The criminals are able to keep the victim’s telephone line open, intercepting the call to the police and confirming everything is in order.

In some cases, victims are advised to box up their valuables and told a ‘police officer’ will visit to collect them for safe keeping. A ‘security password’ is then given to reassure the victim and authenticate
the next stage of the deception, which involves a subsequent visit to the victim’s home to remove the
items previously identified as being at risk.

Advice:

Be aware

  • Trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, it is better to be safe than sorry
  • Always be suspicious of any cold calls, as this is not the way banks or credit card companies usually conduct their business
  • Never reveal your full passwords or login details. Banks never ask for your PIN or for a whole security number or password
  • Do not give any sensitive information, details of your domestic security, any potential periods of un-occupancy or details of any valuable items
  • Do not hand over possessions or documents. Police do not remove an individual’s personal possessions on the
    off chance that a crime may be committed.

What to do if you feel you are being targeted

  • Suggest that you will contact your bank, building society, credit card company for further clarification and hang up. Use another telephone if available or wait until the next day to make the call if you can. Use
    a number from official printed documentation you have and not one given to you.
  • If you wish to respond more quickly, use a different telephone (with an alternative phone number such as a mobile phone) to call your bank, credit card company or the police. Alternatively, call a trusted person
    (family, friends, neighbour) first, and if this deception is happening, you will know that the person on the other end of the line isn’t your trusted person
  • If someone calls offering a ‘security password’ or even visits your home purporting to be from the police to remove items, do not let them in or hand over any possessions or documents, but call the police as soon as possible.

How to call for help

As already stated, use a different telephone (a different telephone number such as a mobile phone).

Call 999 if you feel you are under threat. The police have confirmed that it is fine to call 999.

Call the police 101 nonemergency line if you feel calling 999 is not appropriate and the matter is not urgent.

 

Source: Hiscox

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