Bogus caller alert

RESIDENTS were last night warned to stay vigilant as bogus callers come up with more devious ways of tricking people into giving credit or debit card details over the phone.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is urging the public to be alert following a number of recent incidents across the country.

Conmen call residents claiming to be an officer from the local authority and tell them they are due a refund from their Council Tax bill, only needing to confirm their credit or debit card number to process the payment.

But last night the district council said they would never ask to check such details over the phone – unless residents had contacted them specifically asking to make a payment in this way.

Robert Whiting, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for resources, said: “On most debit or credit cards the first four digits are the issuers identification number, so cards from a particular bank all start with the same first four numbers and end in the cardholder’s unique card number.


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“By asking which bank residents’ bank with they are able to tell the caller the first four digits of their debit or credit card number and ask them to complete the rest.

“Because the caller appears to already have the card information and is just checking it, residents are more likely to believe they are genuine.

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“This is a particularly sophisticated way of coercing residents. Although there have been no reported instances of these types of calls in our district we want people to be cautious.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police echoed the warning, which she also extended to unexpected doorstep callers.

“We always advise people to be very careful,” she said. “Never give out any details over the phone if you are unsure. Similarly never let any one into your home. Always ask for identification and if in doubt contact the company they are claiming to be from.”

Anyone that receives a bogus call can report it to the local trading standards office on 08454 040406.

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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