An old-style scam that sees victims conned into handing over their bank cards and PINs to couriers is on the rise, netting British fraudsters £750,000 so far this year, the Payments Council is warning.
The scam sees crooks phoning victims, claiming to be from their bank and saying that their card needs to be collected and replaced following fraud on the account.
The fraudster often suggests the person hangs up and calls the bank back to make sure the call is genuine but then just stays on the line before instructing the customer to key their PIN into their phone's handset. The victim is told the card is going to the bank to be changed but it is actually delivered to the fraudster to use along with the PIN.
The Payments Council first warned of the con in November but losses are on the rise, with the same amount stolen in the first four months of 2012 - £750,000 - as in the whole of last year.
Meanwhile, a survey of 4000 people from the Council's Pay Your Way education campaign shows that while three quarters feel confident they would be able to spot a fraudulent telephone banking call, that certainty crumbles when the scam is explained.
Over half are surprised by how sophisticated it is, one third are worried they are more vulnerable than they thought and 80% feel that anyone could be a potential victim to the fraud.
DCI Paul Barnard, head, Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, says: "Many of us feel confident that we can spot fraudsters but this type of crime can be sophisticated and could happen to anyone. Whilst we have seen an increase in this type of fraud, we know collectively we can stamp it out."