The three digit number you need to remember to protect your money

A crime prevention expert has told people there is a three digit number they should remember which can help stop them being scammed. Former police officer and TV presenter Rav Wilding says by dialing 159 you can get to speak to your bank.

And he advises you do this if you have any concerns that you could be the victim of a financial fraud. Speaking on Morning Live he was issuing advice after the program looked at one woman who lost more than £1,000 after being targeted in a scam by someone claiming to be from Amazon.

With fraudsters being ever increasingly plausible, he said there are three steps anyone who gets a surprise call should take. He told viewers to stop, challenge and protect.

He said: “If you get a call out of the blue just take a moment. Think could this be a scam because if it is a call out of the blue and someone is demanding to take action and there is money involved it probably is. Just stop for a moment.

Then he told people to “challenge what you are being asked”. He recommended if possible to speak to a family member or friend to see if they thought the call was genuine or a scam as it would often be clear to someone else.

Finally he said protect yourself and each other. he said: “You might not be the person at risk but your friends or family might be so look out for them.”

But he had further advice for anyone getting a call telling them to come off the line and then call the company back. However he warned if it was on a landline then to do this from another phone if possible or if not leave at least five minutes before dialing out again.

He said: “Sometimes scammers leave the line open, they’re still there on the other end of the phone. If you then make a call all you are doing is actually pressing a load of numbers, making a bit of sound, but you ‘re still talking to the same person.’

And then he added people who think they might have been a victim of fraud should remember 159. He said: “Three numbers. If you need to speak to your bank if you have any doubts about anyone who has contacted you and you think you might have lost some money then 159 will take you through to a message service which will take you straight through to your bank.”

The UK-wide 159 service was launched in September last year by Stop Scams UK and Global Cyber ​​Alliance. It is aimed at guaranteeing customers a safe route to contacting their bank.

According to Stop Scams UK criminal gangs stome more than £470m from people and businesses in 2020 by claiming to be a bank or business and getting them to transfer money. It also urges people getting a call to “stop, hang up and call 159” to check calls are for real.

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