What's the scam?

We have recently been informed of multiple telephone scams - one from someone claiming to be from the Law Society and others from fraudsters claiming to provide a 'Telephone Preference Service'.

Law Society calls

Someone calling themselves Hugh Campbell called a Scottish law firm claiming to be from the Law Society and asking for a call back on a mobile number. There is no Hugh Campbell working at the Law Society of Scotland.

False 'Telephone Preference Service' calls

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.

There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is free to sign-up to the register and TPS never charge for registration.

What should you do?

We recommend you and your colleagues read our cybersecurity guide which includes tips for individuals on what to think about when asked for financial or other confidential information on the phone. Do not click the link to download the attachment on these emails.

Never accept at face value a caller who asks for financial or confidential information. If you receive a call claiming to be from your bank, politely end the call and then contact the bank yourself on a different telephone line. Always use an official phone number. Do not use a number that the caller has given you.

If you suspect a fraud, or other internet crime, remember to report it on the Action Fraud website.

Where a fraud or scam has actually taken place, it should be reported directly to Police Scotland.

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Frauds and scams

Information to help Scottish law firms avoid becoming the victim of fraud or becoming involved in the facilitation of fraud or money laundering.