Who’s really on the phone?

Take Five's Scam Academy | Module 3: Phone Scam video

It’s not just through new technology where crafty criminals will attempt to con you. They’re just as likely to try and get your details off you over the trusty old telephone as they are online or by text message. So if you get a call from someone saying they’re from your bank, credit card provider or another important organisation, what should you look out for?

This short video from Take Five featuring some well-known celebs might give you some of the answers before we talk about it a bit more.

The same rules as apply as they do elsewhere – if something seems suspicious or too good to be true, then stop and Take Five to check it out. In the video, the people on the other end of Rufus, Carol and Donna’s phones don’t do this, and are only too willing to accept they really are speaking to someone from a magazine having been hooked in by the promise of a few freebies.

What the celebrities do in the video - and sneaky scammers will do given half a chance - is lure you in by building up a rapport and coming across as someone you can trust. Your friend even. And before you know it, you’ve given them everything they need to get their hands on your money – not good.

Before you ever give a stranger your personal or financial details over the phone, make sure you know who they are. If you’re asked for sensitive stuff, like your PIN or log in details, it’s probably a fraudster on the line as your real provider won’t ever ask for these.

Don’t be afraid to say you’re not happy to give any info out. A genuine company will usually understand, so trust your instincts to gauge their reaction. If the caller is a bit funny about it or seems offended, put the phone down and call back on a number you trust, like the one from their website or the back of your credit card.

Just like you would with any other form of communication, before you give anything personal away it’s really important to establish who’s really on the phone. Take Five and don’t let the fraudsters beat you.

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