National Insurance: Britons issue warning as many receive arrest threat – ‘so convincing!’

Martin Lewis shares tips for checking scams

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National Insurance scams have sadly become rife throughout the COVID-19 crisis, however, there will be some who have not yet experienced this. Scammers are stepping up their efforts to attack Britons, and it is important to be on guard against their tricks. The latest scam involves a phone call which people have reported receiving in recent hours and days.

The phone call informs individuals that their National Insurance number is being investigated for so-called “illegal activity”.

It states the number has been involved in unethical transactions, and that if Britons do not take action, then it will be terminated.

The message then informs individuals they are set to be arrested if they do not press one on their receiver to rectify the matter.

Of course, this is understandably concerning for individuals, and the threat of arrest is likely to be terrifying for those who are not aware of the scandal.

However, the supposed illegal activity alongside the threat of arrest is simply fictitious.

It is an elaborate and sophisticated scam being deployed by cybercriminals in order to lead Britons into a false sense of security.

Adding legitimacy to the claim, the caller often tells Britons they are from the National Crime Agency – a real organisation – to make someone feel they are speaking to an official.

But when pressing one on a receiver, individuals will be connected to a person who once again threatens them with arrest if they do not provide their bank details in order for a “correction” to be made. 

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If failing to do so, the caller says criminal proceedings will be started against an individual, and they could be forced to repay  thousands in fraudulent transactions.

As individuals are dealing with their National Insurance number, the caller may also ask a person to confirm this detail, as well as name, date of birth and address.

This is a simple way for the fraudster to harvest personal and sensitive information from the unsuspecting call recipient. 

It could go on to be used to try to gain access to accounts, or steal a person’s identity. 

It is important to note none of the information on this scam call is true, and so Britons should always put the phone down before they can be exploited.

People should never hand over any sensitive information, particularly as official Government organisations would never ask for a person to do so.

However, for those who have fallen victim to the scam it is important not to panic and to follow certain steps to try and protect oneself.

If someone is concerned they have parted with their bank details, they should immediately call their bank to see if payments can be stopped.

In addition, Britons are encouraged to reach out to Action Fraud, the national cybercrime reporting service.

The organisation can help in looking into the scam further to try to stop others from being targeted.

It may also be able to offer individuals advice about how to continue to protect themselves. 

Several individuals issued stark warnings about the National Insurance scam call via social media.

One person wrote: “I had it last week. Almost answered as it had a local code as the number.”

Another said: “All the ones I’ve had have come from numbers with the first eight digits the same as mine, oddly enough.”

A third individual penned: “Got yet another scam voicemail pretending to be NCA who were going to suspend my National Insurance number. These are annoying to me, but for someone who is vulnerable it could lead to ID theft. Always hang up, never press one.”

A fourth person warned: “Ignore them – it’s a scam! Your NI number doesn’t expire until you die.”

And one person who had sadly been victimised, warned others to stay alert.

They said: “This happened to me, and they ended up taking £100 from my account! They are so very bold.

“They were so convincing as well.”

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