News

Combating Telephone Fraud

By Nick Morrison

cat on phoneTelephone fraud is unfortunately very much alive and well. We even had an attempt on us earlier this week. The attempt was expertly dealt with by my good lady (we were once fraud victims a couple of decades ago, once bitten——).

We have a phone which displays the incoming number and she spotted that the incoming call was from abroad. We are not in the telephone book and haven’t been for decades. Some fraudsters use sequential number calling, ie they start at 622000, then 622001 and keep going recording if they get a response or not.So a phone which displays the incoming callers number is a good first line of defense.

Margaret Keenan RBS

Margaret Keenan Senior Relationship Manager Royal Bank of Scotland

Be doubly cautious with all calls that are “Number withheld” However it is not infallible according to Margaret Keenan, a Royal bank of Scotland Manager. Some fraudsters have developed a technique of fooling incoming call display phones.  As Margaret said, firstly no bank would ask you for any kind of account or personal details unless you had phoned them first. So be on your guard if an incoming caller starts asking for them.  She also described the very useful 2 phone technique as a means of combating fraud.

If the incoming call is on a land line use a mobile to call your bank to check if the call is genuine and vice versa. The fraudsters are well aware that many folk will want to check if the call is genuine and will keep their end of the call open , so if you think you are calling the bank you are merely talking with them again. They will change their voice if not working with an accomplice. If you only have the one phone, call a family member or friend whose voice you know well.

If it is not that family member or friend which answers –  bingo you have just caught out a fraudster.

What next . Report it!  We did and the Spanish Police actually caught our fraudster.


This article was to have been part of a report  (to be published shortly) of a Management talk to the farming community recently.  Margaret thought it was too important to be buried in Farming report as it deserved a wider audience. 

See also

Scammers Alert

Dodgy Emails in Your Inbox?

Categories: News

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3 replies »

  1. I’m sure that I’ve mentioned this before. There is a system called ‘Call Guardian’ which I bought over a year ago. Some of its many features allows you to only allow numbers entered by you, for others it asks the caller to identify themselves and if you think OK you accept. For dodgy numbers you can block and they your phone does not ring. There are many other features too many to list here. But main thing is IT WORKS and was well worth the £60 odd that it cost me for a Base station and two extensions.

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  2. Too many scam calls use a ‘cloned’ UK number to conceal their true identity. Reporting this number results in some poor innocent subscriber being investigated and possibly cut off through no fault of their own. So it is not a victimless crime, even if you do not respond. I usually report scam calls to ICO if I can. TPS put up too many restrictions on reporting, IE they will not accept a report if you do not know the number or identity of the caller. No much use for number withheld calls.

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    • Chris M, they don’t tend to clone a real subscriber, they clone the Area code then add a phoney local exchange and number. As I said before get yourself a ‘Call Guardian’ phone.

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