A phone scam in the UK is telling people that their National Insurance number has been compromised. The caller then urges people to provide sensitive personal information so that their National Insurance number can be changed.
Phone call scams have been on the rise across the world for some time now. The UK has especially been hit hard with a surge of scams designed at attempting to trick listeners into handing over money or personal information.
We can imagine that most people would be alarmed at receiving a phone call warning them that their personal information has been stolen by crooks. It’s enough to alarm anyone, and that’s exactly what the crooks are banking on.
In early 2021, a new phone scam is telling people that their National Insurance number has been compromised. The scam starts off with an automated recorded message warning the listener that their National Insurance number was stolen by crooks, and that those crooks have been using it to try and access the listener’s bank accounts. The automated message urges the listener to press 1 on their keypad to fix the issue by changing their National Insurance number “before it’s too late”.
A National Insurance number is a unique number given to every person in the UK once they approach 16 years of age. It’s rough equivalent in the United States is a social security number. It cannot be changed.
The automated message received by listeners is a lie. The listener’s National Insurance number hasn’t been compromised. It’s a ruse to panic a victim and trick them into telling the crooks personal information about themselves.
After a listener presses 1 on their keypad they are connected to a real person who asks for sensitive information such as name, address, date of birth and bank account details. The victim is told this information is needed to ensure that their bank accounts are safe and have not been compromised. Ironically, passing this information to the crooks will have the exact opposite effect.
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Those who fall for this scam may see their bank accounts accessed by crooks, or more likely they’ll find themselves the victims of identity fraud.
Be especially wary of unsolicited calls, and never pass any personal information about yourself to the person on the other end of the line. This is especially true if you feel you’re being pressured or panicked into handing over personal information.
We have more information on various types of phone scams and how to avoid them in our article here.