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Phone Scam Advice

Islanders are still receiving scam phone calls purporting to be from financial institutions.... Please see advice below.......



The Financial Investigations Unit is continuing to receive reports of local residents being involved in what appears to have become a common bank fraud/ scam.

We will, below, attempt to outline the circumstances of this particular fraud, which has resulted in a number of victims over the last year.

Would-be victims are not confined to being customers of one particular bank.


The attempted scam call will likely go as follows;

A bank customer could receive a call at any time of the day. The call might be received on their landline or their mobile phone. Most islanders receiving these calls appear to have their phone contact details recorded in a local directory.

Evidence has been gathered that suggests the caller often speaks with a Scottish accent.

The initial call appears to be mostly made by a female. This female has used a number of different names that have included Kayleigh and Amanda but any name could be used.

The caller states they are from "your bank" or "Visa verification".

They will advise of 'fraudulent transactions' that may have been attempted on your account. The caller may advise that they have managed to stop those transactions and may provide a reference number for them.

Different examples of the alleged fraudulent transactions may be given. References to payments to John Lewis have been used on a regular basis but other retailers may be used as well, such as B&Q.

The caller may then state that a future transaction is due to take place - to increase your sense of urgency. The fraudster will say that in order to secure monies, you need to transfer funds into a secure account.

They will advise you on their authenticity and security risks associated with confirming their details - this is done in order to sound more genuine. The caller will ask you to call them back using the genuine telephone number provided on the back of your debit/credit card.

While you hang up and believe the call has finished, the caller remains on the line and is able to do so for a couple of minutes. When you call the genuine telephone number provided on your bank card, the fraudster will 'answer' the call (having remained on the open line).

You will then most likely speak with another individual. In the majority of cases this individual has been male with a Scottish-sounding accent. The male has used the names Ian, James and Doherty among others. The individual may state that they are from your bank's fraud department.

This individual will advise of the future fraudulent transaction and the necessity to transfer funds to a more secure account.

The individual may be able to provide some detail on your bank account in support of their authenticity, however this is likely to be generic or old (balance as of a month ago, for example).

The fraudster will provide new bank account details into which you will be advised to transfer funds.

The individual may ask you to turn off your mobile phone - they do this in case the bank picks up on the fraud and attempts to contact you while the scam is taking place.

They will keep the conversation going for as long as possible after the transaction has been completed. This is done in order to ensure the funds have been transferred.

It is important to remember that no bank would contact any client and ask them to transfer funds under such circumstances.


Further advice

If your bank suspects your account has been compromised (in the manner in which this fraud suggests) they would take internal action to rectify the matter. A legitimate bank would not ask a customer to make the transfer themselves.

One of the reasons why these people are so successful is that they are very convincing. They clearly have experience with banking processes and are believed to have access to some client details.

They also rely heavily on the call back process by the use of genuine bank telephone numbers provided on the back of credit/ debit cards.

Remember, they will remain on the line and it will remain open for a couple of minutes - this issue is currently being addressed with local telecommunications companies. If you are in any doubt wait at least five minutes before you call the credit/ debit card number.

Please be aware, however, that there is a good possibility the fraudsters will call you again during this time. This is because they will know that the call has dropped off and they will be attempting to restart the process. They will then likely state that another transaction was attempted during this short period. This is done to encourage the client to return the call without delaying the process. If you do not delay your call you will most likely be speaking to the fraudster.

If in any doubt about the authenticity of a call, please attend your bank in person or contact the police on 725111.

No bank would ask you to call them back to confirm their authenticity. Banks hold your personal records, so when a call is legitimately from them they should be asked to confirm details to you and not the other way around.

While some fraudsters may have general details about you and your account (account numbers, out-of-date balances etc) they will not have access to your passwords. Legitimate banks have access to your passwords, so use this when attempting to verify the authenticity of the caller.

No bank will contact you and ask you to transfer money over the phone to any account, secure or otherwise.



Issued by Joel de Woolfson, Communications Manager for Law Enforcement, telephone number 719451