Wales Police have warned residents of a new phone fraud in which criminals try to trick customers for hundreds of pounds. The scam is brought about by ongoing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, a time when shopping online and clicking and collecting services have increased enormously. Several people have reported a telephone scam to Dyfed Powys Police, stating that acting fraudsters seemed to be from Tesco. Victims reported that an automatic call has been sent to inform individuals that an order has been placed with Tesco and that £350 is debited. The automatic message continues to say, “if this is not the right amount, please press 1 to go through to our fraud team.”
Once the frightened victims press ‘1’, they are brought to a scammer who seeks to get as much personal information, including bank details, from them as possible. The police had also cautioned that the scammers seem to be extremely advanced and genuine. Therefore they advised: “If you receive a call like this, it’s best to hang up and either check your Tesco online account yourself or call Tesco directly from a number you have obtained.”
All in all, the change over the past year to online services and the health and economic complexities resulted in the fraudsters escalating scams. Barclay’s data suggest that impersonation is the highest common form of scam (29 percent ).
Commenting on the story, Ray Walsh, ProPrivacy’s digital data privacy specialist, commented: “These scams rely on clever scripts to convince people that they are being defrauded, so that worried victims hand over sensitive personal data, including their bank details.”
The fraudsters may even try to persuade the victim to install the software for remote access onto their pc to help delete malware that allowed fake fraud to happen, as per the reports. Anyone who wants to do so will enable cyber-criminals to have direct access to their PC to install any software that steals one’s data. If users receive such a call, they should either verify their own online Tesco account or call Tesco immediately from a number they have received.
Experts stated that “We remind everyone never to provide their personal information or payment details to anybody who calls them out of the blue, even if they claim to be from a huge brand like Tesco. If you have an order placed with Tesco and you receive a call like this which concerns you, hang up and make an inquiry with Tesco directly to check on the status of your delivery.”
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