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How Can Scammers Get Their Hands On Your National Insurance Information?
Scammers have been calling random people on the street while posing as representatives of the National Crime Agency, or the “National Office for Serious Crimes,” and then using a web of lies and threats to try to persuade you to divulge personal information. The con artist then misinforms them that his National Insurance number had been used to claim Universal Credit (NINo). The conman threatened to have him pay back thousands of pounds in benefits that had been fraudulently claimed and put him in danger of going to jail if he didn’t give them his personal information so they could “correct” the situation.
The National Insurance scam follows a string of fraud attempts made on the populace while COVID-19 was in lockdown. A Royal Mail scam and a banking scam from the previous month are among these scams.
Victims get a national insurance scam phone call with an automated tune that says: “Regarding your National Insurance number, this call is for you. You could get into legal trouble if you disregard this final caution. You are receiving this call because some unethical financial transactions will result in the cancellation of your National Insurance number.“
The recipient is then instructed to “please press 1 to get more details” in the recording. The call is a phishing or data collection attempt that might result in identity theft. By clicking the button, the recipient is connected to a con artist who pretends to be able to verify their National Insurance number. Unluckily, by responding, anyone exposes sensitive personal information that could endanger their financial situation.
Victims are coerced into providing their personal information once connected to the “caller” in order to obtain a new National Insurance number. In actuality, they’ve been linked to a criminal who can now commit fraud using their personal information.
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Table of Contents
The Various Modes Through Which Scammers Can Steal My NI Number
• Identity Theft
This scam needs to be explicitly mentioned because it is one of the most common and because social media is just one online location where it can be found. Websites, emails, messaging apps, and pop-up windows are some additional examples.
Young people’s gullibility frequently makes it simpler for would-be identity thieves to phish for information. Young people often are unaware that they are providing personal information that could be used for identity theft. This is demonstrated by a study that found that people 18 to 29 experienced identity theft at a rate of 15% higher than people 45 and older (8 percent ).
Any online exchange that requests personal information may be an attempt to steal someone’s identity. This comprises:
- fraudulent job opportunities,
- false applications for student loans, credit cards, and grants and
- supposedly freebies
Weisman also points out that employee fraud may result in identity theft. “Some job scams send the young person phony checks for more money than they are supposed to receive, tricking them into depositing the money in their account and wiring the remaining funds back to their “employer.” The scammer’s check ultimately bounces, but the young person’s money that was wired is lost forever.”
• Travel Scams
Scammers selling fake COVID-19 travel insurance policies that promise to pay for losses for any reason at no additional cost are a brand-new threat for 2020.
The lack of protection offered by these policies is something buyers learn the hard way. Travel insurance policies typically do not provide coverage for claims resulting from “known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, travel advisories, or fear of travel.”
Since COVID-19 was predicted, many travel insurance policies don’t cover it. Only a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) policy purchased directly from an authorized, a reputable company will provide coverage for losses associated with COVID-19. Typically, these policies are much more expensive than standard travel insurance policies.
Social media plays a role in another travel scam. Even the savviest of travelers can be tricked by scammers who post enticing images on social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. You will be given the option to either fill out a survey full of personal information or expose your computer to covertly malicious software after clicking the image, which tempts clicks with the promise of a free vacation or plane tickets.
Check to see if the social media account you’re on is legitimate. All major airlines and travel websites provide direct links to their social media accounts from their respective web pages.
If you’ve been a victim of online scam you can contact us for support.
• Phishing Scams
You get an email that appears to be from a well-known company that you trust, like your bank, university, or favorite retailer.
The message sends you to a website, typically to verify personal data like passwords and email addresses, where it steals your information and leaves your computer vulnerable to attack by scammers.
One of the most typical attacks on consumers is the phishing scam. In 2019, more than 114,700 people were duped by phishing scams, according to the FBI. They lost about $500 each, or $57.8 million overall.
The Federal Trade Commission claims that stories are frequently used in phishing emails and text messages to deceive recipients into clicking a link or opening an attachment.
As an illustration, phishing attempts might
- Claim there is a problem with your account or payment information Claim they have seen suspicious activity or log-in attempts on your account.
- Let’s say you want to verify or update some personal data.
- Add a phony invoice
- Request that you use a link to make a payment.
- Declare that you are qualified to apply for a government refund.
- Provide a coupon for free merchandise or services.
- A fake email. Take note of the dubious return email address unrelated to Netflix.
Never click the links in emails that you can’t independently verify. Your computer and personal information will be exposed to malware and viruses if you do this.
Once more, even though the sender may appear legitimate—precisely what the con artist wants you to think—no respectable institution will request your password or other important personal information online. Typographical or grammatical errors are frequently found in phishing emails, and the sender’s email address often appears dubious.
Grammar and spelling mistakes are common in phishing emails. Scammers use this deliberate tactic to “weed out” people who are unlikely to fall for the ruse.
Scammers frequently contact victims through online dating websites for dating and romance scams, but they can also do so via social media or email. They’ve even been known to call their victims to introduce themselves. These frauds are also referred to as “catfishing.”
Usually, scammers fabricate online personas that are meant to entice you. They might use an alias or pretend to be someone they’re not, like a member of the armed forces, an aid worker, or a foreign-based professional.
Scammers specializing in dating and romance will express intense feelings for you in a short time and advise you to move the relationship off the website and into a more private medium, like phone, email, or instant messaging. They frequently claim to be from Australia or another western nation while living or working abroad.
Scammers will go to great lengths, such as showering you with loving words, sharing “personal information,” and even sending you gifts, to win your interest and trust.
They might take months to develop what might feel like a lifetime romance, and they might even pretend to book flights to come see you but never do.
They will ask you (either subtly or directly) for money, gifts, or your banking or credit card information once they have earned your trust and your defenses are down. They might also request that you send them potentially intimate photos or videos of yourself.
Frequently, the con artist will claim that they have a personal emergency and need the money. For instance, they might assert that a member of their family is gravely ill and needs urgent medical care, such as a costly operation, or that they are experiencing financial difficulty due to a string of unlucky events, like a failed business or a mugging on the street.
The con artist might also say they want to visit you but cannot do so without your help in the form of a loan to pay for their flights or other travel-related costs.
Occasionally, the con artist will send you expensive items like laptop computers and cell phones and ask you to resend them to a different location. They will make an excuse for why they need you to send the goods, but this is just a ruse to hide their criminal activity.
Alternatively, they might ask you to purchase the items on your own and ship them elsewhere. Even asking you to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to another person is possible.
The scenarios mentioned above involve money laundering, a crime. Never consent to send money on behalf of someone else. Sometimes the con artist will offer you a share of money or gold they need to transfer out of their nation. They require your payment for administrative costs or taxes.
Dating and romance scammers frequently work for global criminal organizations, which risks your personal safety.
Scammers may try to lure their victims abroad, putting you in hazardous situations with potentially fatal outcomes.
Regardless of the scam, you fall for, you risk losing money. Australians are defrauded millions of dollars annually by online dating and romance scams. You may experience long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you, in addition to the fact that the money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover.
• Cryptocurrency Scams
Digital currencies are known as cryptocurrencies. The most well-known type of digital currency is bitcoin. As a result, you have less protection if you invest in cryptocurrency and it turns out to be a scam or you lose a significant amount of money because it is not recognized as “money” or a “financial product” in Australia.
It can be very challenging to distinguish between legitimate cryptocurrency investments and frauds. Scammers “invest” in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency on your behalf by utilizing the hype and the less regulated environment.
Before investing, you should consider your willingness to lose some or all of your money and be aware that, if you proceed, you will have little to no protection behind you.
Scammers who target cryptocurrency investors are persuasive. They might run ads or make posts on social media promising big profits from trading cryptocurrencies. If you click on the ad or post, the con artist will get in touch with you or send you to a bogus website. The con artist will offer to invest on your behalf or will give you information about a website or app where you can do so. Scammers who deal in cryptocurrency frequently contact people through services like Discord and Telegram.
The con artists will pressurize you to buy cryptocurrency through an exchange or will ask you to send money to a business so they can buy it for you. They’ll then claim that they can either make trades for you or guide you through the process of doing so.
A website, app, or customized MetaTrader platform will allow you to view your profits. The information you see will be false and show you making money (or losing as a way to get you to invest more money). You will eventually be unable to make any withdrawals. Scammers will invent reasons why withdrawals take longer than expected, why they’ve banned you from the platform, or why the trading platform is shut down. Your money is gone when you try to contact the con artists to find out what happened.
Do you need help fighting off a scam attack?
It’s a big emergency if someone has stolen your personal or business information. You may need legal and procedural advice to fix the problem. Our team can help you!
How Can Scammers Misuse Your National Insurance Information?
We’ve been informed that a voice with an official accent, typically claiming to be from the National Crime Agency or the “National Office for Serious Crimes,” has been calling random people in the street and pleading with them to call back immediately.
Fraudsters will then use a web of lies and threats to try to convince you to divulge personal information.
Over the past few months, dozens of victims of this scam have spoken to us. According to Action Fraud data, with over 1,000 reports, it is the most widely reported phone scam so far this year.
One victim claimed that when he returned the call, the caller had misinformed him that someone had been claiming Universal Credit using his National Insurance number (NINo). The con artist warned him that if he didn’t provide his personal information so they could make a “correction,” he would be required to pay back thousands of pounds in benefits that had been falsely claimed and risk going to jail. He put the phone down at this point after realizing something wasn’t right, but the con artists kept attempting to contact him for more than a week.
We’ve heard similar tales from other victims who were duped into giving their personal information in exchange for a new NINo number. Even if someone had access to just your National Insurance number, very little harm could be done.
However, your name, date of birth, address, and banking information are much more valuable to criminals. They might use this information to try and access your accounts or to target you with more specific scams.
No government agency will ever pressure you to provide sensitive information; if you feel uneasy or uncertain, just hang up the phone. It is unlikely that the National Crime Agency will contact customers directly regarding their National Insurance numbers. Regarding this cold call, Which? has gotten in touch with it and will post any response here.
Safeguard Your Assets & Personal Information With ChargebackWay
If anyone requests your bank or personal information, you can be sure they are trying to con you. Never provide personal information to anyone you speak with online in a direct message.
Whenever you need to make a financial transaction online, use a secure server and a reliable website.
If you believe you have been a victim of a national insurance suspension scam, immediately change all of your passwords, delete any malicious software you may have downloaded, and if necessary, get in touch with your credit card company. Contact your local law enforcement organization to report the scam and get help with the next steps. A reputable company that helps people who have been scammed or had their personal information stolen is ChargebackWay, which you can also contact.
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Victims of scams are stressed out because they don’t know what to do. We have the tools and experience to fight off scams, and our team can help you in getting your money back.
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