Fraudsters steal hundreds of thousands of pounds posing as NCA officers
Since April 2018, the National Crime Agency has so far recorded 393 reports of scammers claiming to be NCA officers, up from 75 during the previous financial year.
Fraudsters are posing as National Crime Agency officers over the phone in an attempt to con members of the public out of their money.
Elderly and vulnerable people are being specifically targeted with hundreds of thousands of pounds being stolen – and some victims have lost their life savings, the NCA reported.
The agency warned that fraudsters are quoting legitimate information about the NCA in an attempt to deceive victims – who are mainly over 60 years old.
"The offenders warn victims about a banking scam and persuade them to allow remote access to their computers, or hand over personal information and bank details," the NCA said.
"Sometimes they ask their targets to move the money to a 'safe' bank account. They often give a bogus NCA identity number and add to the bluff by citing the real NCA Control Centre phone number."
One case involved a 70-year-old man from London who transferred his life savings of £350,000 out of his account after crooks pretended to be NCA officers and staff from an IT security company. The victim allowed the men remote access to his computer after they said he had been hacked and needed to move his money to a safe account.
Chris Hogben, head of security at the National Crime Agency, said, "NCA officers will never telephone anyone and ask for remote access to their computer, or ask for any personal or financial information.
"These fraudsters may sound very plausible or put pressure on you. Don’t let them."
He advised that even if there is a smallest doubt that the call may not be legitimate, "hang up, and use a different phone to call our Control Centre on 0370 496 7622".