The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received a video recording of an automated telephone message claiming that the National Insurance number of the recipient “will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions.”
The National Insurance scam arrives on the back of a spate of scams sent to the public during the COVID-19 lockdown. These scams include a Royal Mail and a banking scam reported in the past month.
The automated message states: “This call is in regards to your National Insurance number. Ignoring this final warning may lead you to legal troubles. The reason behind this phone call is to inform you that your National Insurance number will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions.”
The recording then asks the recipient to “please press ‘1’ to get more details.”
The call is a data harvesting or phishing attempt, which could lead to identity theft. Pressing the button puts the recipient in touch with a scammer who will supposedly verify their National Insurance number. Unfortunately, anyone who responds is revealing key personal details putting their finances in danger.
Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “This scam is despicable in its attempt to scare the public with the threat of losing their National Insurance number at this challenging time for everyone. It’s astounding that these unscrupulous scammers refer to unethical transactions as the reason.
“If you receive this call, do not ever press ‘1’ and please warn others about it. Also, report it to the authorities, such as Action Fraud, or in Scotland, Police Scotland. Reporting all instances of fraud helps consumer protectors establish a clearer picture of the landscape and the true scale of this problem.”
To report scams, contact Action Fraud, or if in Scotland, contact Police Scotland.
For consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 The public and businesses are encouraged to join Friends Against Scams and Businesses Against Scams, respectively. These initiatives aim to protect and prevent people and businesses from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams.
Published: 12th April 2021
Source: Chartered Trading Standards Institution (CTSI)