Financial fraudsters are clever and very believable but there are certain signs which should bring up red flags in your mind. Instinctively we know most of these but for many different reasons these warning signs get ignored. Remembering and holding on to these basic points, gives us a much better chance of not falling for the scam.
- A common comment after someone has found out that they have fallen for a scam is “I felt something wasn’t right”. Always listen to your instincts. Our instincts pick up cues from all our senses. Fraudsters actively try to lull us into a false sense of security by many tricks and one of those is to contact us in our own homes when we feel safe and our defences are down.
- They usually claim to be from someone we automatically trust, like the bank or the police. Don’t automatically assume emails or phone calls are from who they say they are. To convince you, they may give you some of your details e.g. your name, address even your mother’s maiden name but these are not proof. They can also make any number appear on your phone handset, so even recognising the number is no proof that they are genuine.
- Fraudsters also try to draw you into conversations. Don’t be drawn. Stay in control of the conversation. They are trying to win you over and get information about you. The more you talk, the more they will know about you. It is easy to be embarrassed by complex conversations and it becomes harder to refuse to answer questions if you are not in control.
- Fraudsters try to frighten you and scare you into action. A common trick is to tell you that you have been a victim of fraud. This is to scare you into action. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a bank force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. They would not ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons. They would not rush you or mind waiting for you to carefully consider what you should do.
- Finally and most importantly, never disclose security details such as your PIN or full banking password. Banks and other trusted organisations will never ask you for these in email, by phone, by text, or in writing. Always consider what you are being asked for and why they need it. Unless you are 100% sure who you are talking to don’t disclose any personal or financial details.
If you do think you have been a victim of a fraud, or your financial details have been compromised:
- immediately report it to your bank or financial service provider
- contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or actionfraud.police.uk