I received an email from Cambridge Neighbourhood Support this week, which you can follow on Facebook. It hadn’t really occurred to me before but of course this is another resource for local news and assistance relating to scam activity as well.
The email detailed a particular scam that has been reported locally to the Cambridge Police. This is how it goes:
You receive a phone call, apparently from Spark. The caller says that your computer and personal details have been ‘compromised’, that they can help, and that they have contacted the Police on your behalf who will contact you.
Next you receive a phone call purporting to be from the Police. The ‘Undercover Officer’ says that someone is trying launder money through your bank account and he needs your help to track down the perpetrator – he will need access to your bank account. Of course you can’t tell anyone about this because you’ll blow his cover. However, he does provide you with a name a badge number, and a phone number you can call to verify these details.
So you call the phone number provided and, what a surprise, the next person on the end of the line can indeed confirm those details. And the trap is set.
It’s a fairly elaborate scheme. I suppose they must have several different people working on it otherwise you might recognise the voice. The email from Neighbourhood Support included a message direct from the Cambridge Police, reiterating that they will not ask you for your bank account details. And I will reiterate that companies and banks will not do so either. In fact if anyone ever asks you for access to your bank account, you should immediately be extremely suspicious.