Spoof Phone Calls

Dear Watch Member,

A huge increase in cyber-fraud across the world means that we all need to learn how to spot and avoid different types of fraud and cybercrime.

An emerging tactic used by fraudsters is the ‘spoofing’ (cloning) of telephone numbers. A decade ago, anyone receiving a suspicious call could look up the number that was calling them to check its legitimacy. No longer is this sufficient advice.

Fraudsters can now clone numbers used by legitimate organisations, your local bank, HMRC, or even a local police station, to make it look like that organisation’s genuine number is calling you. The fraudster claims to be from that organisation and tries to convince you to do what they say. This means you cannot rely on your Caller ID display to tell you who is calling you.

Protect yourself:

Beware of unexpected phone callers, whomever they claim to be. If in doubt, never divulge personal details over the phone to someone who has called you. The more you say to a fraudster, the more information they gain about you. Don’t be afraid to hang up. Contact friends or family for advice.

Don’t trust your caller ID display. To verify a call, contact the genuine organisation using a number that you have independently researched. Before doing so, ensure the call has ended and the line has cleared, wait five minutes (Some scammers can simulate the sounds of lines clearing to dupe you into dialling while the line is still live), or make the call via a separate phone line where possible.

Institutions such as HMRC, police and banks will never call you to tell you that you / your money is under investigation; nor would they ever ask you to transfer or hand-over money / assets for such a purpose.

Report all scams online to www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040, giving as much information as possible.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]