Scammers love unattended lockers! | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european

Like a lot of other people, I love going to the gym and having a swim and sauna afterward. Going to the gym helps me to relax for a while away from the day-to-day grind. After the gym, I may go to the shops or grab a coffee. Just like millions of others
every day.  This means I need to have my phone and card(s) with me. However, as reported by the BBC on various shows, scammers have also noticed this and have worked
out that this gives them a golden opportunity to take money from people’s accounts.

The scam is actually not new – and is covered by my “Eight Simple Rules –to survive the tsunami of fraud”, Rule 5 “Keep your bank account details secure”. I believe
we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with this scam. It isn’t just women in gyms that are affected – men will also be affected. Also not just gym goers, swimmers, golfers, workers who need to change before work, and others where belongings are left unattended
in lockers.



The scam is very simple to execute. A scammer can break into the victim’s locker and take the phone and cards.  They will then install the bank’s mobile app on their own phone. The scammer uses the card details to register the new phone (theirs) to the card.
The bank will send a verification code to the stolen (or old phone) and the code flashes on the locked screen if it is locked.  The scammer puts code into the app on the new phone and hey presto! They have access to the banking application and all the bank
accounts for the victim.  It’s that simple. They can transfer money or buy goods, or change access to the account.

So how can you protect yourself?  We can do some simple things to protect ourselves

1. As a phone user never leave the phone and the card(s) together unattended in the same place – you could use two lockers in the gym/ club or leave one of the items at home or in the glove box of your cards.

2. As a phone user you can ensure that your phone settings are set to not display messages when the phone is locked:

For iPhones:

·         Go to Settings

·         Scroll to Messages

·         Scroll to Notifications

·         Scroll to Show Previews where there are three choices: Always / When Unlocked / Never

·         Select either When Unlocked or Never. Your messages will no longer flash up when your phone is locked

For Android:

·         Go to Settings

·         Select Lock Screen

·         Select Notifications

·         Select Don’t Show Notifications. Your messages will no longer flash up when your phone is locked

3. Another simple fix is the banking industry should ensure the new code isn’t visible on the locked screen. It’s really that simple

4. The Police should record this crime specifically and apply sufficient resources to catch these criminals as pointed out in my article Six Things Industry Can Do
To STOP Fraudsters.  

About Gian 

Gian is a Finance Technology (FinTech) Consultant based in London.  He specialises in educating clients on how they can reduce their exposure to financial crime and in-depth insight into FinTech.  Gian has been in the FinTech industry for some 25 years and
worked with the major banks and card companies at Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and RBS, Mastercard and Visa in a long and successful career.





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