How to Recognise Business Phone Scams

Fraud awareness blog

Can you be scammed just by answering your phone?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding yes particularly if you, or anyone who works for your organisation is in the habit of answering calls from unfamiliar numbers. What happens is that by answering your phone it identifies your number as genuine. This gives it a value on what's called the dark web where criminals can sell it on to other potential scammers. But let’s face it, in business, who can really afford to leave the phone unanswered?!

Ok, it could be worse …

Absolutely! Once connected the caller will use a variety of tricks to try and get you to give them information that will help them to rob your company of money - or even persuade you to make a direct transfer to them. And then you’d really be in trouble!

But how do they do that?

Quite simply, in a lot of different ways.

They could, for example, tell you that your bank card has been used to make some large transactions. After asking for your PIN, they will tell you that in order to credit the money back to your account, they need to send a courier to pick up the card.

Another trick is to tell you that there has been fraudulent activity on the company account and the only way to protect what money is left in the account, is to transfer it into a different, temporary account that they can set up for you.

One way to avoid being caught out by phone is to ask for the name of the person you are speaking to, so that you can call them back on a number that you know to be genuine.


But be careful…

Scammers are so clever that they can now hold the line open after you hang up, so even when you dial a different number you are still on the line to them. Some of them are so brazen and confident that this will be enough to convince you that they are real, that they’ll be the ones to suggest the caller’s identity by making that call. The way around it is to use a different phone to make the call or, if that's not practical, wait at least ten minutes before you dial.

Keep everyone in your company safe from criminals

The more people know about how scams work and how to spot and avoid them, the better the chance you have of keeping your company safe. So why not share this blog now with all staff so they know what to look out for.

At AIB we’re supporting our customers to help avoid scams and frauds, so if you think you or any of your team have been a victim of a scam or fraud, please call the iBusiness Banking support team on:

iBusiness Banking (ROI): 0818 72 00 00 (within Ireland) or +353 1 641 4889 (outside of Ireland)

First Trust Bank iBusiness Banking: 0370 243 0331

Allied Irish Bank (GB) iBusiness Banking: 0370 243 0331

Lines open Monday to Friday (09:00 to 17:00)