Business

Millions lost to cash transfer trick

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Media captionThe fraudsters' con is becoming even easier with the rise of online banking, as Simon Gompertz reports

Some £23.6m has been lost in a year to a phone scam that encourages people to put money into a fraudster's account.

The con is the most widespread phone scam in the UK, according to Financial Fraud Action (FFA).

Victims receive a call from somebody pretending to be from their bank, claiming their accounts have been hit by fraud.

They are then encouraged to switch funds to a "safe account" which is then drained by the fraudster.

The story sounds more plausible because the con-artist uses technology to put a false caller number on the victim's phone display, matching a bank's phone number.

Account information stolen from elsewhere might also be used to make the call seem more genuine.

"More and more people have heard about the dangers of phone scams and how they work, but unfortunately there is still a significant number who are unaware that highly professional criminals are systematically targeting members of the public to deceive them out of their savings," said Katy Worobec, director of Financial Fraud Action UK.

Volunteers from Neighbourhood Watch are talking to residents in their areas during the week to raise awareness of these scams.

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