According to Financial Fraud Action financial fraud losses rose by 2 per cent (since 2015), totalling £768.8 million in 2016.
Phone Scams (Vishing)
Fraudsters target individuals and businesses alike. The scams generally involve individuals being persuaded to hand over their personal/financial information whilst businesses are subjected to data breaches and invoice fraud.
Vishing is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from the individual’s bank or some other trusted organisation.
They can fake the telephone number on the screen and may even have some of the individual’s basic bank and personal details.
Genuine banks will never ask for personal or financial details like a PIN number or password. Nor will they ask their customers to transfer money to a new account in the individual’s name or send a courier to collect cash, PIN, payment card etc.
PIN numbers and passwords should never be tapped into the phone as this is part of the scam.
Text Message (Smishing) and Email Scams (Phishing)
Smishing/Phishing is when a fraudster pretends a text message or email is from the individual’s bank or some other trusted organisation.
They will usually tell the individual there has been fraud on their account and will ask them to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a website to update their personal details. Do not use this number or website as the information provided here will be hacked.
They may ask the individual to provide sensitive, personal or financial information, passwords, or to make transactions by following a link in the message. Do not use the link. This link will go to a fake website where the information provided will be hacked.
Always contact the bank using a trusted number such as the number on the back of a bank card or by using their official website.
Online fraudsters can use fake pop ups, hide malware and duplicate retailer websites to make individuals input their financial details. To prevent getting scammed take the time to install the appropriate security measures
What to do if you receive a call or a message
Check with the company directly
Scamming calls or messages have a sense of urgency about them. They will pressurise the individual to act immediately. If this happens the individual must take a step back and contact the company directly using a known email or phone number to check. Do not use the contacts provided by the caller, in the email or text message.
Request for personal information
A genuine bank or organisation will never contact their customers out of the blue to ask for their PIN, personal details or full password. Do not give these out over the phone, text message or email. PIN numbers and passwords should never be tapped into the phone as this is part of the scam.
Requests to move money
A genuine bank or organisation will never ask their customers to move money to another account. If an individual is asked to do this they must report it immediately to their bank or financial services provider and then contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.co.uk
Check the email
Many scamming emails will have a sender’s address that doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from.
Clicking on links/files
Never click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
Don’t assume an email, text message or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows basic details (such as the individual’s name, address or even their mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
Have the confidence to say no
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.
Never hesitate to contact the bank or financial service provider on a trusted number, such as the one listed on their website or on the back of a payment card.
Scammers rely on the fact that people who have been scammed will be too embarrassed to report the incident. No-one should be embarrassed to report a crime. Scammers use incredibly sophisticated psychological and technological techniques to carry out their crimes and millions of people fall for these scams every year. The only way to address this is by reporting it. To report a scam or an attempted scam please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk
For more information please go to the Take Five To Stop Fraud website
Most people think they’re too smart to be scammed. Here’s a test to see whether or not you can spot a fraud https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk
Genuine organisations will never:
• Phone and ask for an individual’s PIN or full banking password.
• Ask the individual to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
• Ask the individual to transfer money to a safe account with the same name.
• Send someone to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books.
• Ask the individual to purchase goods and then hand them over for safe-keeping.