There has been a growing number of reports from people who have received an automated phone call which states that their National Insurance number has been “compromised”.
The recipients are then instructed to “press one on their handset to be connected to the caller”, which will allegedly fix the problem and even be issued a new National Insurance number.
However, doing so can lead to the fraudsters gaining control of your personal details, which could have terrible consequences for the victims.
‘Remain vigilant and be cautious’
Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: “We are asking the public to remain vigilant and be cautious of any automated calls they have received 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.”
Spot the signs of a phone call scam
Which? has loads of resources for people looking to protect themselves from scammers.
When it comes to phone call scams, this is what Which? says to look out for:
- Is the caller using threatening language, or trying to pressure you into acting quickly?
- Have you been contacted out of the blue?
- Are you being asked to share personal details over the phone?
If any of these things apply to your experience, then there’s a good chance that it was a scam call that you experienced.
‘Stop, Challenge, Protect’
Action Fraud advises members of the public to remember these three steps to keep themselves safe against scammers.
If you receive an unexpected phone call, text message or email that asks for your personal or financial details, remember:
- Stop: taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe
- Challenge: could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests - only criminals will try to rush or panic you
- Protect: if you have provided personal details to someone over the phone and you now believe it to be a scam, contact your bank, building society and credit card company immediately and report it to Action Fraud
You can report a scam to Action Fraud via the website or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Additionally, if you’ve received a suspicious phone call, you can help the HMRC’s investigations by providing your phone number, the caller’s phone number, the date and time of the call and a brief description to [email protected]