My friends and followers I have become the victim of an impressively elaborate card fraud. This is how it works:
A (so-called) police officer calls on the telephone to say that someone has been caught in the Apple Store using my debit card, which (the said) culprit insists he/she was using with my permission. I was given the officer’s name and a crime number and asked to call my bank and cancel my cards, this I did using the number on the back of my credit card. This was answered promptly [this person was really ‘in the zone’ he clearly thought he was a real player in the Credit Card Security Service] so I was asked all the normal ‘security’ questions: DOB, mother’s maiden name etc. then I was told that a new security measure was in place and in order to cancel my cards I should give the bank speaker (so-called Chief Client Service Advisor) the last four digits of the long number on the front of the card; then tap the pin number into the phone followed by the hash key. He also told me not to destroy the cards as the police needed them. He offered to call the police for me, but added (solicitously) that for added security I might like to call them myself using the 101 number. Of course, I did this and got a prompt response and was passed on to the original police officer (!). [I had never used this number before and I now know that there is a formal response which was not the one the scammers used.] I stress that the Bank (!) told me to get the cards to the police and that a courier would be sent for them. This happened (as planned). All this time the police officer (!) was being tremendously solicitous of my security, peace of mind etc – while actually destroying it. The said police officer was going to call me at 9 the next morning, and warned me not to use my landline for out-going calls.
When he didn’t call, I called the police which was lucky because I genuinely got all my cards stopped before the shops opened…I have since spent several hours with the real police, my bank and John Lewis. The thieves got away with some cash from two of my cards but mercifully nothing else, except my pride.
The real police were quite surprised at the sophistication of this operation, apparently my phone was on a ‘loop’ and each time I dialled it was still the same receptor, so for all I know all three people might have been in the same room. [If I had dialled my son the scammer playing the Card Security Office would still have said Card Security]. The so-called bank advisor even ticked me off for using my card for on-line purchases, said I should use paypal or some other secure system; in hindsight this is a really amusing side to the whole story – this guy was in it for real.
I feel a complete idiot and want to prevent any of you for falling for the same trick. So pass on this warning.