Automated Phone Cons for National Insurance on the Rise

Here at Capital Telecom, we care deeply about making sure our customers receive fair, professional service standards that are always above board. What’s more, we always trade with customers and businesses who intend to offer genuine services to their callers. However, there are sadly still a few less than scrupulous people out there who are […]

Here at Capital Telecom, we care deeply about making sure our customers receive fair, professional service standards that are always above board. What’s more, we always trade with customers and businesses who intend to offer genuine services to their callers. However, there are sadly still a few less than scrupulous people out there who are continuing to run phone scams, whereby innocent people find themselves out of a lot of money for no reason at all.

A recent resurgence in phone scams has seen many people, for example, hit with calls from ‘National Insurance advisors’. Specifically, it seems that people are receiving calls regarding suspected NI concerns, leading to sensitive numbers and account details breached through confidence tricks. This latest raft of fraud complaints has arisen through research from Norfolk County Council. While NI scams appear to be rising in the region, this does not mean that they have disappeared countrywide. If anything, automated IVR and switchboard scams, too, are on the rise again.

Sensitive Information Leaked

Many of these scams reportedly involve callers – often automated voices – claiming that fraud action is being taken, that there are problems with the National Insurance of the people being called, or even that arrest warrants are due. Ultimately, the calls are designed so that recipients will feel compelled to press ‘1’ on the switchboard, leading them to then connect with a scammer who will scalp their sensitive details.

It is crucial to know the key signs of these scams arising. Number one is, of course, that no one legitimate will outright ask for National Insurance information over the phone. NI details are sensitive and are largely used in filing tax returns, as well as in checking employment and citizenship status. Unfortunately, while NI numbers are not always the most sensitive pieces of information scammers can get their hands on, they still help to add pieces to a fraudulent puzzle.

Therefore, it’s to be expected that the same scammers will also likely look to scalp bank information and other sensitive data. If you ever receive a call from someone claiming to be from a ‘National Crime Agency’ source, it is very, very unlikely to be legitimate.

Keeping a Close Eye

It’s not always easy to tell who is scamming you and who isn’t. However, there are always going to be cases where you have a certain feeling in your gut. Information as sensitive as an NI number, your credit or debit card CV2, or even your date of birth, should all be kept private or to legitimate calls you make with companies inbound.

There are some cases where outbound agents from legitimate sources may ask for certain details for data protection purposes. However, they should never ask for more than a name and a first line of your address. Even if this is the case, you have the right to refuse a call. What’s more, you will never be contacted by an automated phone line regarding a fraud case. If this is ever an issue, you will be encouraged to call a company you are associated with directly, for safety purposes.

Keeping Everyone Safe

At Capital Telecom, we are becoming increasingly aware of scams emerging through IVR or automated phone lines. While we offer a raft of IVR and call handling enhancements to our customers, we do so for legitimate purposes only. We are stringent in our approach to working with business owners who are operating above board.

We also want to spread awareness of scams and hoaxes such as these. They are continuing to attack people who are trying to run their own businesses, who may file their own tax returns, and who may worry about filing the right paperwork. This is a scam that some people may find easy to spot in some cases, but there are still plenty of intelligent people out there who are fearful of any wrongdoing.

So – if you don’t recognise the number, and if your gut is telling you that latest call might be a scam, it probably is. In all doubt, hang up. Call the legitimate company or service being mimicked, where possible, and report fraud. Keep your sensitive information close to your chest – it’s more important than you can ever imagine!

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