How To Avoid Being The Victim Of A Financial Scam

phone and laptop

It is incredible when you consider that last year £755 million was lost in financial scams. That’s a large number of victims who in some cases lose all of their life savings and will count the cost for the rest of their lives. In addition, business itself is also often the victim.

Did you know that a quarter of UK businesses admit they too have been the victims of financial fraud since 2014. So what can we all do to ensure that we keep our finances safe?

Financial Fraud-The Problem

Official figures released by the Financial Fraud Action UK in September 2016 highlight that there were 1 million incidents of financial fraud in the first 6 months of 2016. This is a 53% increase compared to the same period the year before. A staggering statistic is that during the period just mentioned, one incident of fraud was therefore committed in the UK every 15 seconds.

How Is Financial Fraud Happening?

Research on this is interesting. When asked 73% of us say that we are fully aware of the techniques that fraudsters use to con us. But 26% of us also say that we still provide personal details to people who say they are from our bank. So there is clearly a disconnect between what we know is right and what we then do.

The reason for this appears to be that scammers are so genuine and that people also feel very pressurised. What is also interesting is that victims say that they know very quickly that they have been the victim of fraud.

Take Five Campaign

The Take Five campaign was launched in 2016 to help combat this level of fraud and to give practical advice to people. The campaign focuses on email fraud (known as phising) and phone and text based scams, also known as vishing and smishing. The whole point of this campaign is to encourage people just to stop and think and not to get pressurised in situations. Taking five is literally that-pause and think before you become a victim of fraud.

The Take Five Advice

  1. Never disclose security details such as your PIN or password-it’s never right to reveal these details.
  2. Don’t assume an e mail request or caller is genuine-people aren’t always who they say they are.
  3. Don’t be rushed-a bank or genuine organisation won’t mind waiting to give you the time to stop and think.
  4. Listen to your instincts-if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it.
  5. Stay in control-have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information.

This campaign is being backed by Cifas, the City of London Police, the Government as well as major banks, credit, debit and charge card issuers. It is also supported by consumer groups.

Things To Bear In Mind

Your bank or the police will never:

  • Call you and ask you for your PIN
  • Ask you to withdraw money
  • Ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books
  • Ask you to purchase goods using your card

Phone Scams - Vishing

A phone scam is when someone calls you pretending to be from your bank or building society. They will often appear very convincing as they may have some of your basic details and sound very genuine. The key things to look out for with phone calls like this is that the caller will not be happy if you want to refer to a friend or family member and will be particularly insistent. They may even ask you to tap your PIN into the telephone keypad-whatever technique they use remember a bank will never call you asking for your PIN.

Text Scams - Smishing

This type of scam is when you receive a text that pretends to be from your bank or building society. The key signs that this text may be fraud are when it asks you to provide sensitive information, asks you to call a number that is unknown to you and the text tells you that the request is urgent, the words ‘act now’ are often used.

E Mail Scams - Phishing

Always be suspicious of e mails that appear to be from your bank. Things to watch out for include the senders address not matching the website address of say your bank, the email may not use your full name, again there will be a sense of urgency, a request for personal information and there may be spelling or grammar issues. In addition, if the entire text of the email is within an image start to question its validity.

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Useful Websites

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  • KRIVINSKAS & Company
    A dynamic young firm specialising in commercial litigation and serious fraud
  • The Private Investigator
    Virtual business portfolio, focal point for private investigators, private detectives, enquiry agents, fraud investigators, fraud examiners and other fact finders
  • Maxima Group
    Independent source of intelligence and a centre of excellence on all aspects of corporate fraud, bribery, corruption, embezzlement, conflicts of interest, counterfeiting, piracy, management and blu
  • The Risk Advisory Group
    Independent corporate investigations and intelligence consultancy for mergers and acquisitions support, market and competitor intelligence, employee screening, risk reviews, fraud investigation and pr
  • International Compliance Association
    The International Compliance Association supports and educates compliance professionals in the fight against terrorist financing, corruption, money laundering and financial crime.
  • Add Your Website Here