THE Cheshire Police have shared the details of the "worst scam ever" on Twitter.
The scam involves a letter, which claims to come from Barclay's, warning "costomers" that their bank cards could catch fire.
The letter says that the cards are urgently being recalled and asks customers to send their cards and pin numbers back by post.
It warns that people are at risk of being burnt terribly unless they return their plastic.
According to the letter a fault at a factory in "Molten Keynes" is causing the cards to spontaneously combust.
The full letter reads:
"IMPORTANT NOTICE – DEBIT CARD SAFETY RECALL
"Dear Costomer, [sic]
"Many of our bank customers have reported that their debit cards caught fire while they are in wallets and purses, and so as a precushion [sic] we are issuing an URGENT safety recall.
"This is a matter of the uppermost emergency as your card could create a pocket fire at any given moment, burning your legs and stomach terribly.
"This is because of a fault in the factory process at our debit card factory in Molten [sic] Keynes.
"Therefore, for your own safety and verification, please complete the bottom of this form, and return it with your debit card to the safety manager at the following address"
It is signed: "Eric Smith, Barclays Debit Card Safety Manager".
The police force said that usually it would warn people to Take Five before giving out bank details, but that in this instance it was not necessary.
A tweet read: "This letter from 'Mr Smith' at 'Barclays' is warning people about Spontaneous Debit Card Combustion…
"We would usually tell people to #TakeFive before giving out their bank details.. I don't think we need to for this one."
It also linked to the Take Five anti-fraud campaign.
How to protect yourself from fraudsters
ACTION Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:
- When making a purchase, be suspicious of any requests to pay by bank transfer or virtual currency instead of safer methods, such as credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
- Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Don’t pay for goods or services unless you know and trust the individual or business.
- Personal information obtained from data breaches is making it increasingly easier for fraudsters to create highly targeted phishing messages and calls – watch out for these.
- You shouldn’t assume the caller is genuine just because they’re able to provide some basic details about you.
- Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.
Barclay's confirmed the letter was a scam and warned customers not to send their debit cards in.
A Barclay's spokesperson said: "A number of customers have reported receiving letters pertaining to be from 'Barclays Bank Debit Card Factory' in 'Molton Keynes'.
"These letters are a scam and customers should ignore the instructions given.
"Your bank will never ask for your card to be returned, PIN number or account details."
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