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Are you smart enough to avoid falling prey to a phone scam?

January 29, 2020

This is one of the best stories we have seen and a reminder to always be alert.

Decca Aitkenhead is a journalist at the Times in London and won the interviewer of the year prize at the British Journalism Awards.   In between exhaustion from her award and the pressure of a story deadline, she took a phone call.  The warning signs may seem clear in hindsight.  She was asked if she was on a speaker phone because the information was confidential. She was instructed to move to a place where she could speak.  Why did she transfer nearly all of the balances in her accounts?  The caller id came up as the call center from her bank. The caller had a local accent and a “kindly voice”.  He claimed that there had been an attempted purchase on her account to for an airline ticket which appeared to be fraudulent.  He never asked for her codes but instead asked for her account numbers.  They also gave her new account numbers to transfer her funds which she did.  It was only after this occurred that she called the bank only to learn that no one had contacted her.  This story ended well.  Lloyds bank reimbursed her.  This doesn’t always happen.  Read the full story here.

 

The next logical question is whether or not there is insurance for this.  We wrote a bulletin on this topic last year. The Unfriendly Internet: Cyber Attacks and Your Defenses. This is known as social engineering, or intentional deception where you willingly transfer funds.  Some insurers are now offering coverage for this, which is available by endorsement to policyholders.  Contact us if you have additional questions.

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