Financial fraud can take many forms, but one of the latest scams we are aware of involves fraudsters impersonating officials from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with the aim of duping victims into transferring money to accounts belonging to criminals.
How does the scam work?
Fraudsters typically contact potential victims by phone, claiming to be someone in a position of trust, perhaps working for the police or the FCA. They may claim to be investigating fraud at a firm that the person holds money with, such as Brewin Dolphin, stating that their cash or assets are not safe. They may even say they are calling from the fraud department of the firm in question.
The fraudsters will claim that to prevent money from being stolen, it should be transferred to a ‘safe’ account until the investigation has concluded and the supposedly corrupt employee has been arrested.
The victim will most likely be told not tell anyone at the firm the reason for the withdrawal to avoid compromising the investigation.
What can you do?
The FCA has guidance about fake FCA correspondence, and the various forms these scams may take.
Beware of the following:
- Neither the police, a regulator nor a bank would ever ask you to transfer or withdraw cash for the purposes of safekeeping;
- The police, a regulator or bank would never send anyone to your home to collect cash;
- If you have been contacted by someone claiming to represent an official body, you should contact that body independently to verify details;
- Fraudsters can use fake telephone numbers and keep the line open after calling you, so wait at least 10 minutes before calling back independently to verify their details.
If you think you have lost money to fraud, you should report this to Action Fraud on 0300 113 2040 or online via their website.
The information contained in this document is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness.
The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the views held throughout Brewin Dolphin Ltd