Financial Fraud 159 Helpline

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Alternatively, just make a bank transfer of a couple of hundred pounds to your savings account and your bank’s fraud prevention service will contact you :slight_smile:

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Interesting that Starling is a member. Is Monzo going to join?

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I don’t think having a number to contact will change much will it?

People know they can google for a number or it’s on their card if they want to talk to their own bank. The problem isn’t contacting your bank, it’s realising that it’s not your bank contacting you to start with.

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Particularly older people, so many don’t know how to contact their banks.

At work I literally have a document with various bank’s fraud departments to give out to people because they honestly don’t know it, and when they Google numbers there are so many to choose from.

I think a National number is a good idea. I personally can find a fraud number for my bank but the reality is that’s not how a lot of people, particularly those who are vulnerable, work - and they are the main victims.

It can’t hurt to have three digits National number to call regardless of your bank, whether you move banks or not.

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Glad to see most banks taking part:

"Banks that are taking part include Barclays, Lloyds (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland), NatWest (including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank), Santander and Starling Bank.

Nationwide Building Society said it would join but it also launched its own version on Monday."

I’m not sure how successful this will be but hopefully, it helps some people. An easy number to remember might be better than all the numbers that exist at the moment.

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Sounds like you should have set this up and then all banks would have been included.

Well mine is just a Word document that I periodically check but I’m not being paid to do that!

But it really opened my eyes to just how many people are scammed on a daily basis, and almost all who I speak to are vulnerable through age, socio-economic situations, disabilities, mental health issues etc. Often they are panicked and haven’t even tried to contact their banks - they just call us.

If 159 was a known number, national and involved any and all banks as standard I can’t see how it can be a negative thing. Presumably all a bank would need to do is provide the 159 service with their fraud number to connect callers to.

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People can also just be kept off guard despite knowing all the tactics that criminals use. On one of the BBC programmes, one of the victims of fraud worked for a bank and knew all of the criminals tricks, yet still fell for it. Thankfully, she realised very quickly and did everything else right, but everyone can be a victim, no matter how much you think you know the tricks.

A number like this should also make it easier to quickly contact your bank as you don’t have to do frantic Google searches to make sure you have the right fraud number.

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It would be ideal if it put the number in the transfer process, generally the piece that says are you sure you know this person or similar, and it says if you’re unsure, or if this was a random call asking you to move money to a safe account etc, please call ### to verify.

That would probably prevent a lot more fraud.

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something almost caught me not so long ago. It was a text from a bank that said ‘here is your security code for your payment to ASDA, if this wasn’t you phone [number]’. I definitely went through a few moments of ‘oh fuck someone is using my HSBC account again’ before realising the phone number was spoopy. It doesn’t take much.

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How do they know what bank to call? cause the article says it’s automatic - I have 5 accounts

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As the phone networks have to enable it, perhaps it knows what the last ‘bank’ that called you was and calls them back on their proper number?

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I think a simple ‘press 1 to speak to NatWest, press 2 to speak to Lloyds…’ etc would be more reliable than an automated system that’ll one way or the other have to try to work out which bank you need to be put through to, since I don’t see how it could effectively do this for those with multiple accounts.

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That’s how I thought it would be, but what happens when there’s more than 9 participating banks?

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They could use voice recognition perhaps? ‘Please state the name of your bank after the tone…’

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I hate those things.

“Please state your bank”
“Nationwide”
“Transferring you to Natwest”

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“Did you say Lloyds”
“No Barclays”
“Did you say HSBC”
“No Barclays”
“Did you say NatWest”

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Haha yes they do tend to be absolute garbage. My favourite is the ‘my voice is my password’ thing with one of the government departments that I’ve had to use before. The system just gave up when I was trying to set it up and hung up on me in the end :joy:

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I did this thing on my phone, opened up the dialer, typed 159 then pressed call.

Anyways it’s push 1 for this, 2 for that…

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