A DROMORE man, who was the target of a sophisticated telephone scam earlier this month, has warned others to be aware of such bogus callers.
Bill Wright from Barban Hill in Dromore received a call from a woman telling him he was entitled to an £800 refund from his bank because they had overcharged him.
The caller, who claimed to represent a company called “Easy Claim” and spoke with an Asian accent according to Mr Wright, informed him they could get the money to him by sending a solicitor’s letter to his bank.
Mr Wright, who had a 20-minute conversation with the caller including being transferred to a man claiming to be some kind of solicitor, said he had suspicions throughout the phonecall that the he was the victim of a scam.
“The caller said they had made an application on my behalf to my bank because they had been overcharging me for the last six to eight years,” Mr Wright told the Leader.
“I was so shocked when they told me what bank I belonged to, my account number and my address. Throughout the call they said this service would cost me nothing but towards the end they started mentioning £89.99 at which point I hung up.”
Mr Wright immediately contacted his bank and cancelled his card. When contacted by the Leader a spokeswoman for the bank said a number of customers had been in touch following similar scams.
“The customer did the correct thing in contacting us,” said the spokeswoman. “These scams are getting more sophisticated all the time. The people calling know that the first eight digits of bank cards belonging to a particular bank are the same on every customer’s card so they’ll often rhyme off the first few digits and rely on the people they’re calling to unwittingly finish the number off.”
A spokesman for BBA, the banking authority, warned customers not to give out personal details to a caller - no matter how genuine they may seem.
“Another scam of which we have become aware is where customers are contacted by callers claiming to be authorised by their bank to refund current account charges,” he said. “The caller then asks for bank details for the account to which the refund should be credited.
“Clearly, this is an attempt to con people into divulging their personal details. Our advice is - don’t give out personal information. No bank is offering this service or has authorised another company to do this on their behalf. Hang up.”
Mr Wright said he was keen to alert other people who may become victims of this scam.