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Fraud alert

Fraudsters target pharmacists in bid to steal bank details

Community pharmacists have been warned that fraudsters claiming to be from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) investigations team are targeting pharmacists and attempting to steal their bank details.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said a “a small number” of community pharmacists had reported the sophisticated scam, which has seen the callers using pharmacies’ unique contractor code, which appears at the top of the schedule of payments document that the pharmacy receives from NHS Prescription Services each month.

The fraudsters have used a number of publicly available pharmacy details, including the NHS Digital organisation data service (ODS) code, previously referred to as the ‘F’ code, when calling, stating that there has been a problem with payments to the pharmacy.

After asking for personal and business details from the pharmacy contractor, including dates of birth, business bank account details, and mobile phone numbers, the impostors have in some cases followed up with a text message claiming to be from the contractor’s bank, asking the contractor to call a phone number, the PSNC said.

Pharmacists who have called this number have then been subject to further attempts to obtain details that could be used to access their business bank account.

A spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society warned pharmacists to be on high alert: “Don’t be caught out by scammers. NHSBSA will never contact you directly for your bank details. You should also ensure your staff are aware and know to report any such call to the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre on 0300 123 2040.”

The PSNC also advised that anyone concerned about the legitimacy of a call purporting to be from the NHSBSA should ask for the name of the caller and then say they will call them back.

The NHSBSA Prescription Services main phone number can be found on the back cover of the Drug Tariff, and this is the number that should be used to contact the NHSBSA.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203444

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