Santander fraud warning as fake phone line charges 65p a minute

Scammers are contacting Britons pretending to be from Santander to try and dupe them into calling a fake phone line that charges expensive rates.

A Twitter user contacted the bank after she had a text purportedly from the bank telling her to call an 0800 number.

Deborah Conway Read (@DConwayRead) asked the bank to clarify what number she should call, as she had phoned the 0800 number from the scam text and it directed her to another phone line that charges 65p a minute for the call as well as an access charge.

Santander asked for details of the number and Deborah replied: “The number in the text was 0800123123. Calling this gets a message saying call 09001231234 and be charged 65p per minute plus access charge. Why?”

The bank said in response: “We don’t recognise both the numbers. This is a scam text you have received please do not click the link.”

Deborah was also concerned that the scam text was about a matter she was expecting to be contacted about. She asked Santander if her account had been “hacked”.

The group told her to log in to online banking or use the mobile banking app and live chat service to check this with an adviser.

If a Santander customer receives a call or text they are unsure is genuinely from the bank, they can call 0330 9 123 123.

Fake text messages often include links to websites controlled by the fraudsters, where the victim hands over personal or banking information.

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One trick cold call scammers use to try and dupe people into thinking they are legitimately from a bank is to use technology to so the call number is the same as the one on the back of a person’s debit or credit card.

But this is a clear sign a call is fake as this phone line is only for customers to use to contact the bank, and the bank will never call a customer from this number.

Scammers also sometimes include a customer’s personal or banking details in their bogus messages.

Twitter user Alan Green (@alangreen1958) previously contacted Santander after he received a fake message including some of his personal details.

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He said in a tweet: “Had an email from mobilepayments@santander and text cancelling my google pay card, they gave last four digits of card but smells like a scam.”

Santander responded to warn the message was a scam. The bank later told it would not be able to confirm how the customer’s details were accessed by the scammers without talking to them.

A spokesperson said: “Fraudsters will often use personal or financial detail previously obtained through phishing, smishing or vishing to make their approach to potential victims look more convincing.

“If customers are in any doubt at all about whether a message is genuine, they should get in touch by calling the Stop Scams number on 159.”

Alan said the scam message was very convincing saying “this was a realistic one, nearly had me fooled”.

Scammers pretending to be from a legitimate organisation will often carefully craft a message to imitate the group’s style, using their logo and official terminology.

They may seek to put pressure on the person to act and hand over information by saying their funds are at risk or their account has been blocked.

If a person receives a suspicious call, they can always hang up immediately, check on the group’s website for a genuine contact number, and then get in touch to verify what the situation is.

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