Police are warning members of the public not to give personal details over the phone to callers claiming to be from their bank.
Officers have received a number of reports of which members of the public being contacted by people who claim to be from their bank, telling them of unusual transactions on their bank cards.
Nine incidents have been reported to Warwickshire Police in the past two months where money has been stolen from bank accounts. In each instance the victim has found their bank card, and in some cases their driving licence, has been stolen from their wallet.
The caller, claiming to be from the bank, says there are unusual sales on their card and asks for the purchases to be verified. The victim then checks their wallet to find that their bank card and driving licence have been stolen.
The caller gains the victim’s confidence, saying they will cancel the card, but in order to do so they need the PIN number for the card. The victim, believing they are speaking to someone from their bank, gives the caller their PIN number, giving the thief access to their account.
In each case the bank cards appear to have been stolen from the victim’s hotel room while the owner has been away from their room. Security has since been reviewed at the hotels involved.
Ian King, from the Warwickshire Police Community Safety Unit, said: “Most people use credit and debit cards to pay for goods over the telephone and on occasions you may receive calls from their banks to confirm such transactions are genuine.
“It is really important to remember that you should never give your PIN number to anyone. During genuine calls from your bank you will never be asked to divulge your PIN as they have other means of confirming your identity.
“If you are ever asked for your PIN number whilst on the telephone, you should end the call immediately. You should then contact your bank, using the number they give you in written correspondence, and ideally using another phone, such as your mobile phone, to report the call to your bank. If your cards have been stolen report this to the police as well.
“We also advise that when staying in hotels at home, or abroad, as an exta precaution you should always keep valuables such as your wallet, passport and car keys in the hotel safe, or the lockable security box in your room.”