The UK’s National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Center (Action Fraud) is warning citizens about a National Insurance scam targeting their personally identifiable information (PII).
The public alert cautions potential victims to be wary of unsolicited phone calls notifying them that their “National Insurance number has been compromised.”
The law enforcement agency was put on guard after receiving tens of thousands of phone calls from victims.
How the scam works
According to Action Fraud, victims receive an automated phone call mentioning that their National Insurance number has been exposed. They are advised to “press 1 on their handset to be connected to the caller.” Once connected, the scammer urges them to provide personal details to receive a new number.
“It’s important to remember if you’re contacted out the blue by someone asking for your personal or financial details, this could be a scam,” Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, explained.
“Even confirming personal details, such as your email address, date of birth, or mother’s maiden name, can be used by criminals to commit fraud. If you have any doubts about what is being asked of you, hang up the phone. No legitimate organization will rush or pressure you.”
How to protect your personal information
When hunting for fresh batches of PII, scammers know no boundaries. They may use phone calls, emails or text messages to spread panic and rush you into providing sensitive information before any implications ever cross your mind.
Although you might not ignore every phone call from an unknown caller, you can take a moment and analyze the situation.
Ask yourself why you are receiving this call or message, and immediately hang up or ignore a request in which you are intimidated or pressured into handing over sensitive info.
If you suspect you’ve fallen a victim to any such scams, don’t panic. Call your credit card company and healthcare provider to make them aware of any compromise and report the scammer to local police.