Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, is warning the public about a National Insurance scam, after it received over 1,000 extra calls from members of the public this week.
Victims have reported receiving an automated telephone call telling them their “National Insurance number has been compromised” and in order to fix this and get a new number, the victim needs to “press 1 on their handset to be connected to the caller”.
Once connected to the “caller”, victims are pressured into giving over their personal details in order to receive a new National Insurance number. In reality, they’ve been connected to a criminal who can now use their personal details to commit fraud.
Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:
“We are asking the public to remain vigilant and be cautious of any automated calls they receive mentioning their National Insurance number becoming compromised.
“It’s important to remember if you’re contacted out the blue by someone asking for your personal or financial details, this could be a scam.
“Even confirming personal details, such as your email address, date of birth or mother’s maiden name, can be used by criminals to commit fraud. If you have any doubts about what is being asked of you, hang up the phone. No legitimate organisation will rush or pressure you.”
How to protect yourself
If you receive an unexpected phone call, text message or email that asks for your personal or financial details, remember to:
Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
If you have provided personal details to someone over the phone and you now believe this to be a scam, contact your bank, building society and credit card company immediately and report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
You can also contact CIFAS to apply for protective registration. This means extra checks will be carried out when a financial service, such as a loan, is applied for using your address and personal details, to verify its you and not a fraudster.