Watch Our For Scammers
No matter what time of year it is the scammers are out there, trying to steal your identity and money. We may think we know it all, but even the IT experts get caught from time to time.
Each year new scams appear – it’s hard to keep up. The big guys .. Paypal, the Banks and Building Societies, the pay portals like Cardless and Stripe and many more introduce increasingly more complex methods of keeping your money safe. But on the back of that the fraudsters and scammers are working even harder to discover ways of breaking the security levels.
At Resolution we have adopted Cyber Essentials to prove our commitment to data protection to reassure our own clients we care about their data, but what can we do in both our personal and business lives to remain ahead of the scammers and stop them in their tracks? Using ever more complicated passwords, or two factor authenticators, linking accounts to phone app or a phone call or text is often moote .. but just when you think you are top of things the scammers and hackers come up with a new idea. Late in 2022 even Paypal – seen as a fortress of security – was caught out and many eminent people lost money.
The only real defence against these criminals is remaining informed to know when to stop and say is this ok or why? Question everything, and if you are worried then don’t transfer the money or step back and use another ATM. There are so many scams now it’s difficult to condense the way to deal with them, but here are a few of the more common ones out there.
This scam is all about phone calls the fraudsters use in order to get you to hand over information they can use, instruct you to download software, get you to make a payment or to hand over some cash. The usual trick they use, is they call pretending to be your bank. They create panic and fear using the misleading information that you have already been a victim of fraud or it is imminent. They have also been known to pretend to be the police.
Now I know what you are asking, how do I know if it is really the bank or not?! Check before it happens. Put the phone down and ring your bank direct – not via the same phone the call came in on since the scammers may still be listening, or leave it half an hour or so to make sure the scammers have disconnected at their side. Most financial institutions will have a fraud line to call.
This scam involves you receiving an email that is disguised to look genuine. It could look like your bank or the solicitors or someone you trust and is designed to extract your information or financial details. It usually uses links that take you to a fake website requesting you log on. All the while the fraudsters are sat in the background watching.
In this case you receive a text message that carries a bogus link claiming your security has been breached. They use the info that you input through that link to carry out their fraud and steal your money.
The financial world have done a lot to stop this kind of fraud, but it still happens. In this case you plan to send money to another person, but somehow they have been tricked by the fraudster to send money to someone else. You will be convinced this is for a genuine person or purpose such a housing sales, with the fraudster pretending to be a solicitor finalising the purchase..
When you need to make a payment to someone new or a new company make sure you are 100% certain of the bank information. Ring them if you have to.
This happened to a close family member who was very low after losing her life partner. She was a very intelligent person, but was conned out of her life savings when she was most vulnerable. The scammer preyed on her via a dating website, but it could have been the common apps or even social media.
They rarely reveal their true selves and almost never arrange face to face meetings, In the case I am quoting the guy kept asking for money to set up the visit – she was convinced the person was genuine and transferred large lump sums until the family discovered the situation.. He had used false pictures and information to build the relationship, and played on her emotional state. In many cases they will steal the persons identity too.
In this case the fraudsters call customers claiming to be the bank or even the police, and pretend the customer has been a victim of card fraud. They say they are sending a courier to collect both the card and pin … Its easy to see the problem here, but people do fall for this unfortunately.
If you are using an ATM and you think it may have been tampered with then don’t use it. People have fallen foul of the fraudsters adding a card skimmer to capture the data from your card and then quickly empty your bank account.
In this case the fraudster will have already gained your banking information and will use that to get through the security checks. Once they have gained access they will reset the passwords and other security measures, locking out genuine customers and stealing the money.
Most banks and other financial institutions are improving their security measures all the time, but with the increase in online banking, whether personal or for business, its always worth remembering to be vigilant.
Impersonating a senior manager the criminal sends an email to the accounts department asking for a large payment to be made. This plays on the trust between personnel and departments within a business so it’s best practice to have a strong level of verification for payments to avoid this.
This takes many forms, including crypto .. and if it sounds too good to be true then seek professional advice!
There will be many other scams being thought up and implemented so it’s good practice to be vigilant and question anything that you are unsure of. It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you because one day it just might do.