Restaurant diners warned on rise of bank call scam
Restaurant owners are being warned to be vigilant as fraudsters attempt to target their customers in a new phone scam
A new scam is on the rise which targets restaurant owners and their customers, according to the latest data from Financial Fraud Action UK, a payments industry body.
â€œRestaurant owners need to be alert," said Katy Worobec, director of the organisation. "Fraudsters can sound very professional donâ€™t be fooled.
The scam is simple but a new twist on previous attempts to convince people to hand over their bank account details. A fraudster, posing as bank staff, phones a restaurant early on in the day and says that there is a problem with its card payments system. He tells them that due to this fault, the restaurant will have to redirect card payments to a number, which is then given to them by the fraudster.
The fraudster, still purporting to be the bank, insists the restaurant staff will have to obtain their customer's security details to process any card payments.
Later on in the day, when a customer finishes their meal and comes to pay, the restaurant calls the number the fraudster had provided. The scammer then asks to speak to the customer to go through their security questions. Once the fraudster has obtained a sufficient amount of security information from the customer, they then instruct the restaurant to put the transaction through.
The fraudster then calls the customer's bank in an attempt to transfer the money to their own account using the security details provided by the customer.
Criminals can obtain the name of the restaurant's bank fairly easily, by checking the restaurant's receipts, thus tricking the staff into thinking the bank call is genuine.
Ms Worobec said: "If you receive any calls from your bank claiming there is a problem with payments, make sure you phone your bank back on its established number to confirm the request is genuine."
Restaurant owners should also wait five minutes before calling to ensure the line is clear, as fraudsters will stay on the line in the hope that they will try and contact their bank straight away.
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