Spain’s National Police force has taken to its Twitter account to warn the public of a new phone scam with criminals posing as the country’s Ministry of Health.
The scammers are attempting to rob citizens using a technique called ‘vishing’, which is the practice of making phone calls and leaving voice messages purporting to be from a reputable company. The scammer will then attempt to get the user to disclose their private banking credentials.
The form of attack used is similar to ‘phishing’, which uses emails and text messages to trick users into parting with their personal details. Many of the victims are elderly, who by nature, tend to be more susceptible to these forms of scams.
The police have warned that the perpetrators are claiming to be from the Ministry of Health’s Customer Service Centre and calling from 901400100.
In fact, this number never makes calls to the public or sends any form of message.
The police have stressed that if you do receive a call or message from this number you should not answer or respond to it. You certainly should not share any of your personal credentials.
CUIDADO— Policía Nacional (@policia) May 10, 2022
El @sanidadgob alerta sobre llamadas fraudulentas suplantando al tfno de la Oficina de Atención al Ciudadano 901400100
NO REALIZA LLAMADAS
NO ENVÍA SMS
Si recibes una llamada supuestamente del 901400100, no contestes, ni mucho menos des tus datos personales pic.twitter.com/n8tUmxG49b
The scammers have been active since April 19
The scam attempt was first detected on April 19 and since this time the authorities have received many calls from people who have been targeted.
The Ministry stressed that calls should not be taken from this number saying, "Anyone who receives it is asked to reject any call from that number and that they do not provide any type of personal data."
To ascertain if any call or message is valid or not, the Ministry has provided a number of verification tools that can be used to verify whether the communication is legitimate or not.
"In case of any doubt, or if you need to verify the veracity of the call, you can contact the Citizen Service Office of the Ministry of Health at the following email - email@example.com”
Tips to avoid phone fraud
Spain’s Internet Security Office (OSI) shares a number of tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of these forms of telephone scams.
Firstly, they recommend never sharing your personal information with third parties.
You should also distrust calls from unknown numbers or those with suspicious numbering. In the above case, the number has 9 digits instead of the usual 10.
If you are in any doubt, you should hang up and call the company directly. Ideally, this should be done from another line as scammers will sometimes keep the line open to trick you into thinking you have called through to the correct people.
It follows a spate of similar attacks in recent weeks including a Correos phishing scam and DGT/Santander scams.
Please share with your friends and family to make sure they are aware of this and other scam attempts.