Brits are urged to stay alert to National Insurance scams where fraudsters try to steal your personal information.
The scam involves someone contacting you out of the blue to falsely claim that your Social Security number has been “compromised” or used for illegal activities.
They will falsely tell you that you need a new number, and will ask you to “press one on your handset to connect to the caller” – but this “caller” is actually a scammer who will ask for your personal information. ask.
Once they have asked for information about you, they may use this information to commit fraud on your behalf.
If you receive one of these calls, you should hang up the phone and not pass on any sensitive information.
Have you fallen victim to this scam? Contact: [email protected]
Action Fraud warned of national insurance scams in March, saying at the time it had received 34,000 more calls about this type of fraud in the past month compared to the previous year.
Several police forces also tweeted warnings to people this week following spikes of fraudsters posing as agents.
The police will never ask for your citizen service number or your bank details by telephone.
Edinburgh Police tweeted: “If you get a call saying your Social Security number or bank account is linked to a criminal investigation, hang up the phone. It’s a scam.”
Cheshire Police also made the following statement: “We have recently seen a spate of reports of scammers allegedly coming from Cheshire Police.
“No officer would ask for personal information, such as bank account numbers or National Insurance numbers — if you get a call, hang up and report it to 101.”
People have also complained about National Insurance scams on Twitter.
One person said: “I just got a call with a recorded message saying my Social Security number would be suspended due to my criminal activity.
“If I didn’t press it, an arresting officer would come.”
Another person tweeted, “Scam numbers have called me twice regarding my National Insurance number regarding a suspension? So many people got the same call today and it’s terrifying.”
A third said: “I just got a weird call that my social security number is being suspended. I’m sure it must be a scam. I didn’t do anything wrong! Has anyone else had a call like this?”
How to protect yourself from fraudsters
If you unexpectedly receive a phone call, text, or email asking for your personal or financial information, Action Fraud tells you to follow these steps:
Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before giving up your money or information can keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to decline, deny, or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
To protect: If you have provided personal information to someone over the phone and you now believe this is a scam, please contact your bank, mortgage lender and credit card company and report it immediately.
You can contact Action fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040. The telephone lines are open from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Or if you live in Scotland, contact Police Scotland to report the fraud.
Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: “We ask the public to remain vigilant and be careful of any automated calls they receive stating that their National Insurance number is at risk.
“It’s important to remember that if someone contacts you out of the blue asking for your personal or financial information, it could be a scam.
“Even confirming personal information, such as your email address, date of birth or your mother’s maiden name, can be used by criminals to commit fraud.
“If in doubt about what is being asked of you, hang up the phone. No legitimate organization will rush or pressure you.”