Criminals targeting foreign bank customers

Criminals are now targeting foreign banks in their fraudulent activities - thanks to the impact made by UK banks' campaigns advising caution amongst customers.

Tuesday, 15th November 2016, 11:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:33 pm
Fraudsters are targeting customers of foreign banks

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) Proactive Intelligence Team has information from a convicted fraudster who says that organised crime groups (OCGs) now see foreign banking customers as more likely victims of fraud than their UK counterparts.

“The good prevention advice by UK banks and partners has created obstacles, although the OCGs will still seek to move the money back to the UK so they can cash out. More advertising would stop fraud,” said the NFIB’s source.

Economic criminals and money launderers take over bank accounts in two main ways: by posing as a genuine customer and gaining control of an account to make unauthorised transactions; or courier crime, when the fraudster poses as a courier on the doorstep and tricks the victim into handing over bank cards and PIN.

Take Five to stop fraud

The recently launched Take Five campaign ( is an example of a recent UK initiative designed to remind people that it pays to stop and think to avoid fraud. It’s coordinated by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) and consists of support from all major banks and key financial services providers across the UK.

How to protect yourself

If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal your full password, login details or account numbers. Most banks will not approach their customers in this manner.

If you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone.

If you are concerned about the source of a call, ask the caller to give you a main switchboard number for you to be routed back to them. Alternatively, hang up and call your bank back on the legitimate phone number printed on your bank statements.