TapPhishing Phone Call

This morning we had an automated phone call, one of those that is generated by computer, apparently from our credit card company. It knew the name on the account and asked us to ring back on a given number regarding the security of our card.

The first problem, as this was a call out of the blue, was that we had no pen to hand to write down the number even though it was repeated. We checked the source and it was an unknown (to us) 0845 number.

But secondly, how were we to know that the call came from the bank in the first place. The name of the account is on the card and the name of the bank can be deduced from the first few digits of the card number. Anyone who we had made a transaction with could have discovered those details.

As it happens it was from our bank—I discovered this by ringing our normal telephone banking number and getting put through to the fraud department. It was an out of the ordinary transaction they were worried about which, in fact, was legitimate. I am pleased with their dilligence in bringing it to our notice.

The right way to have worded the phone call was to ask us to ring the number printed on the back of the card or statement and either use a code for the automated routing system or tell us to ask for a particular department. That way we don’t have to find a pen to write anything down and we can be certain that we are really ringing the bank.

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