Beware this two-step bank scam

Here at, we like to keep you updated with the latest cyber security tips and let you know if there are any scams you should be aware of. Although we’re a free conference call provider, we want our customers to stay safe online at all times.

We’ve just been made aware of a very sophisticated and pretty worrying bank scam that works in two stages to effectively do you out of money twice. Here’s all you need to know.

What’s the two-step bank scam?

Criminals are always looking at ways to relieve of us our money – some are pretty basic, others more sophisticated, but much of their success lies in the timing. If they hit you when you’re vulnerable or off-guard, they have a much better chance of success.

And that’s what’s so worrying about this scam.

It all begins with a legitimate attack on your account, where sums of money will be taken fraudulently. They might be able to do this by getting access to your bank card details and making payments with it that are low enough to avoid being flagged by retailers but high enough to make sure you notice.

The fraud is on your radar, you inform your bank and the money is returned. So far there’s no more harm done than the inconvenience of getting in touch with your bank.

Your bank might even get in touch with a follow-up call over the next few days and recommend you increase the security on your account or even set up a new one as your existing one has been compromised.

This actually seems like a sensible idea, if you can cope with changing your Direct Debits and other regular payments. This is actually something the bank can take care of on your behalf, as it the case when you switch from one bank to another.

And switching account is easier than ever, all you need to do is confirm your existing account number and sort code and they’ll automatically transfer the money into your new account. Simple and secure.

The trouble is, it’s not actually the bank that’s called you. It’s the same scammers who stole from your account initially.

If you complete the call, they’ll have all the information they need to completely clean out your account and, as you’ve willfully handed over the information, there could be very little you can do to get that money back.

Whatever you do, never give sensitive details to anyone over the phone, especially not cold-callers. If in doubt, hang up and call the bank yourself using the number on their website. And if you’re responding to an email, never give sensitive information out and make sure any correspondence has definitely come from where it says it has.

If you are scammed, you can report details of it to Action Fraud.

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