Scammers are calling Thomas Cook customers to offer fake refunds in an attempt to trick people into handing over their bank details and other personal information. Following the news of the company going into liquidation, it seems that scammers are using this to their advantage to try and steal from vulnerable holidaymakers.
Criminals will try to use high-profile events, such as the news about Thomas Cook, as an opportunity to commit fraud and manipulate unsuspecting people into parting with their money. In light of this, we’d like to remind you how to identify a potential scam call and how to keep yourself safe.
What to look for
In this case, victims are being contacted by a person pretending to be someone responsible for issuing refunds on behalf of Thomas Cook. Others have been approached by a scam company posing as Thomas Cook asking for personal details such as bank/debit/credit card details and banking passwords.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a scam and a genuine call, as scammers use increasingly sophisticated methods. If you're still unsure, here are the five warning signs to look out for during a phone call, which suggests that the caller could be a scammer:
The caller is insistent and doesn't give you time to think, or tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend
The caller asks you to transfer money to a different account
The caller asks for your online banking passwords or four-digit card PIN
The caller asks you to withdraw money and hand it over for "safekeeping"
The caller offers to send a courier to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards or cheque books to "protect" you from fraud
Remember, legitimate organisations will NEVER contact you out of the blue asking for PINs or passwords or telling you to transfer money to another account.
How to stay safe
If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious during a call, hang up and call the organisation directly on its official phone number. If you've received a suspicious text, don’t follow any links or give away your personal information – even if you think it’s a genuine message. Again, we recommend you contact the organisation directly through an official channel to check whether the call or text you've received is legitimate.