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Fraud call claiming to be from Child Benefit Agency

(17 Posts)
Dannie Thu 13-Jan-05 21:22:59

A bloke called earlier this evening claiming to be from the Child Benefit Agency. I'm 95% sure he was bogus, so I thought I'd post details. It went something like this:
Him: "Hello I'm calling from the Child Benefit Agency. As you may know, our benefits are being transferred to be handled by the Inland Revenue and there's a slight discrepancy in your bank account details. I wonder if you could confirm some personal details"
Me: "How do i know you're from the Child Benefit Agency?"
Him: "Well you could ask me some questions"
Me: "No thanks, you can send me a letter"
Him: "OK" (hangs up very quickly)

I'm not trying to show off how clever I am, he caught me at a very stressful time of day, so I was more inclined to be rude and suspicious. If he'd been for real, surely he could have given his name, the switchboard number and his extension and invited me to call him back?

If a convincing letter arrives in the next few days, i'll post a fulsome apology, but until then, be careful.

sparklymieow Thu 13-Jan-05 21:25:08

The Cb never phone, they send letters

eidsvold Thu 13-Jan-05 21:27:52

I had a number of hassles with them when I first claimed cb and they only ever corresponded in writing - never ever got a phone call. I think you were right to be suspicious.

lockets Thu 13-Jan-05 21:28:02

Message withdrawn

Dannie Thu 13-Jan-05 21:31:03

Well, quite. And if they know they're dealing with a mother of three kids under seven, WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY PHONE AT TEN TO SIX ON A SCHOOL NIGHT

secur Thu 13-Jan-05 21:35:58

Message withdrawn

biglips Thu 13-Jan-05 21:36:04

sounds dodgy if he hung up very quickly

Dannie Thu 13-Jan-05 21:39:17

I was half tempted to ask some questions to see what he knew, and half scared of finding out he had all my kids' details in front of him. DH has taken to shredding absolutely everything but I just tear up letters with personal details on.

Mirage Sat 15-Jan-05 11:09:32

I had this same phone call 10 minutes ago!

Thank goodness I'd read this thread & was suspicious.He asked me to confirm some details & I asked him how I would I know he was who he said he was?He then said he would read what it said on his screen,that I had one dd,called xxxxx.He had that right,but I still said that I wasn't going to answer any questions by phone & he said they'd write to me.

DH did 147-1 & the number he had called from was not available.Very odd.

I might ring the IR now to see if they are doing this & if they know about it.

LIZS Sat 15-Jan-05 11:14:57

Very unlikely to be from a Govt Agency on a Saturday but it probably wouldn't be recorded on 1471 even if genuine. Those details could have come from any number of sources on a database.

Mirage Sat 15-Jan-05 11:19:35

Just rang the IR-it is genuine.The guy told me that the details of CHB are held on a different computer than everything else, & they are trying to match them all up.They have a special team working on it over weekends ect,as they have a limited time to get it all done.

He did say that I was right not to answer anything on the phone that I wasn't happy about & that if it was important I'd get a letter.The chap I spoke too couldn't access the details that the prevs caller had wanted,so I'll have to wait for a letter now.

grumpyfrumpy Sat 15-Jan-05 11:20:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RTKangaMummy Sat 15-Jan-05 11:27:41

I received a letter from them this week

it says they are open 7 days a week

8am to 8pm

phone number 0845 302 1444

email {I know this includes capitals but copied from letter} {to report any changes online}

It also says when you write to them get a pre addressed envelope from post office you do not need a stamp

Hope that is useful

Socci Sat 15-Jan-05 11:29:12

Message withdrawn

tallulah Sat 15-Jan-05 12:02:59

As Mirage said, it is likely it really was someone official as this is the sort of thing the civil service is being encouraged to do by phone (cheaper than a letter). He should have provided his name and a callback number for you to check though. The number withheld thing is also normal for a govt dept. I couldn't change our phone at home not to accept number withheld calls or I wouldn't have been able to phone home from work!

(wouldn't give bank details over the phone though)

dannie, if it was a bloke there was no way it would even occur to them that there might be a problem with taking calls at that time

lockets Sat 15-Jan-05 15:19:26

Message withdrawn

Dannie Sun 16-Jan-05 22:09:46

OK mea maxima culpa, I got a letter from them this morning. It turns out that they wanted to check why my tax is in my real name and my child benefit is in my married name. SO WTF couldn't the silly man have asked me that? I use my own name for work, but started using my married name for the NHS after the hospital tagged DS1 with my surname instead of his when he was born.
What does this have to do with my bank account details? I'm not a naturally paranoid person, so how did the poor man manage to sound so suspicious? I can only conclude that his day had been as crap as mine and he was ten minutes away from going home and thought he'd just hang up and fill in a form.

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