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Vishing (Phone) Scam

6th October 2016

Purpose of Advisory

To inform consumers of a scam where persons claiming to be employees of an internationally known money transfer business ‘MTB’ (or, perhaps, a bank employee) are cold calling individuals (often elderly) and duping them into sending funds abroad via the money transfer business (usually to India).

A pdf version of BPFI’s Vishing Scam Fraud alert is available to download here.

 

Key Detail:

  • The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland has received reports advising that a number of consumers have received calls purporting to be from an internationally known money transfer business (or, in some instances, the caller purports to be a bank employee).
  • The fraudster informs the consumer that the MTB office in New Delhi has released funds to a relative of theirs and that the MTB have subsequently discovered this to be a fraudulent transaction. (The transaction, in fact, has not occurred)
  • The caller advises that the MTB are prepared to refund the monies but require an upfront amount (say, €600 / €800) in order to process the claim. In one call the victim was advised that the amount to be refunded was €1,500. However, the minimum amount that could be returned electronically was €2,100 and the victim would have to “top-up” the original sum by €600 in order to receive the full refund)
  • These “additional” funds are to be sent to the MTB based in India by the consumer (i.e. victim) in order to retrieve the original amount.
  • Once the funds are sent the victim is frequently is told that this transaction has been “hacked” and that a second transfer is required.

Red Flags:

  • Consumers are being cold called;
  • In recent cases, the caller has been male with an Indian / Asian accent
  • The caller is claiming to be an employee of an internationally known money transfer business (or perhaps, a bank employee)
  • Consumer is informed that there has been a fraudulent transaction on their account which will be refunded if they send an upfront fee (typical Advance Fee Fraud)

Action:

  • If any consumer receives such a call ‘out of the blue’ they should treat the call with considerable suspicion. Record the detail of the inbound call – phone number, date, time, accent etc.;
  • Under no circumstances should consumers remit any funds to a money transmission business in the hope of receiving a refund
  • An Garda Síochána should be immediately informed of any such requests
  • Forward the details of suspect calls and or requests immediately to your bank (contact details can be found on the reverse of your bank card)

If you have actually transferred monies in response to one of these bogus calls, you should contact the money transmission business immediately – use a phone number from Directory enquiries or from the Internet. DO NOT USE the phone number from the suspect phone caller.

This is a general notice issued by the Financial Crime and Security Department of the BPFI on Behalf of BPFI members.

Disclaimer Note: The information contained in this Fraud Alert /Advisory is for general guidance and for information purposes only and is intended to enhance awareness and vigilance regarding this fraud.

 

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