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New phone scam that targets the general public and restaurant owners

Restaurant owners are being warned to stay vigilant as fraudsters are attempting to target their customers in a new phone scam, according to Financial Fraud Action UK.


The scam involves fraudsters, posing as bank staff, phoning restaurants claiming there is a problem with their card payments system. The restaurant is then told to redirect any card payments to a phone number provided by the fraudster. 

When the restaurant calls the phone number the fraudster asks to speak with the paying customer and then goes through their security questions. Once sufficient security details have been obtained from the customer, the fraudster will instruct the restaurant to put the transaction through.

The fraudster then subsequently calls the customer’s bank in an attempt to transfer money to their own account using the fraudulently obtained security details.

Don’t be fooled

Katy Worobec, Director of Financial Fraud Action UK, said: “It’s important that restaurant owners are alert. Fraudsters can sound very professional – don’t be fooled. If you receive any calls from your bank claiming there is a problem with payments, make sure you phone them on an established number to confirm the request is genuine.

In addition, always wait five minutes to ensure the line is clear, as fraudsters will sometimes try to stay on the phone line and pretend to be your bank.”

Intelligence suggests that restaurants in London’s West End, as well as Twickenham and Canary Wharf, have been targeted.

Read more on the Financial Fraud Action UK website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

If you are a victim please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online tool to report the fraud and receive a police crime reference number.

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