4.6 million people are affected by fraud each year according to last years’ report from the Victims’ Commissioner. The report goes on to explain that fraud now accounts for 39% of all crimes.
To help keep you safe from scams, we’ve pulled together some useful tips.
Take five to protect yourself from fraud
Fraudsters are good at putting you under pressure so that you don’t have time to think. To help you in situations like this, UK Finance has launched their ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ campaign to help you spot scams and keep yourself and hard-earned money safe.
Stop – Take a moment to stop and think before giving out your personal information or payment details
Challenge – Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests you think seem suspicious
Protect – If you believe you’ve been targeted by scammers, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at actionfraud.police.uk. If you’re in Scotland, please report it to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.
Don’t transfer money to anyone that has called you requesting a bank transfer
Fraudsters place urgency on moving your money to keep it secure. With this scam it can be extremely difficult or at times impossible to recover your money once it leaves your account. We will never call you and ask you for money
If you’re speaking to someone claiming to be from Mettle and you’re worried it may not be us, hang up and message us back through the Mettle app, or call us using the number on the back of your Mettle card.
Be vigilant when buying on social media and online marketplaces
Make sure to always do your research on the sellers. Fraudsters usually ask you to pay for something upfront, and more often than not via a bank transfer.
When possible, use a debit or credit card – it’s a safer way to pay and gives you more protection.
Be careful when clicking on links in messages you weren’t expecting
Fake messages that appear to be from a trusted source are used to steal your personal information through phishing attacks.
If in doubt, don't click on any links or download files. You can always search for the company requesting information and log in to their services in the way you normally would.
Fraudsters can also impersonate companies through text messages. They might tell you a payment hasn't been received in the hope of tricking you into giving away your personal and security information.
This can also happen over the phone. A scammer can call pretending to be from a bank and encourage you to give your personal details, such as your card details, PIN number or online verification codes.
Also, be careful of fraudsters posing as a supplier and telling you their company’s bank details have changed. They will ask you to make all future payments to a new fraudulent account. If in doubt, always contact your supplier.
Tips on how to protect your data:
Don’t give anyone your full details
Scammers are really convincing and can claim to be from your bank, someone else’s bank, the police or another organisation. If someone is asking for information like login details, passcodes, remote access to your device or to verify payments – don’t give them any information, it’s a scam.
Be careful when offered investment opportunities with unusually high returns
Fraudsters claim profits are guaranteed, and that the investments are foolproof. Be wary of any investor who makes a claim like this as it’s likely to be a scam.