Scams and cybercrime, including fake websites and text messages, are becoming more common, deceiving people into parting with their money.
Scammers today are persistent and sophisticated. They use online means like emails and social media to trick people into giving them sensitive information. They might pose as someone you know, your bank or even a compensation recovery firm.
Below, we'll go over some of the latest scams and how to spot them — so you can stay one step ahead of fraudsters.
Scams are constantly evolving. Rapidly changing technology forces scammers to change their tactics. That’s why it’s important to stay updated with the latest scams.
Here, we list some of the recent online scams.
The cost of living crisis provides an opportunity for scammers to take advantage. They’ll often use current issues to scam people in order to benefit financially.
Some scams to look out for:
Cybercriminals are taking to WhatsApp to pose as friends or family members to dupe people into giving them money. Scammers might use stolen photos to add credibility to their impersonation, making them more difficult to detect.
Stay vigilant when someone contacts you out of the blue and requests money or personal information like your bank account details — it could be a WhatsApp scam.
STOP. THINK. CALL. is a campaign by WhatsApp, Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards' Friends Against Scams that aims to help users avoid message-based scams.
They recommend following these three steps when users receive unusual messages:
The recent bank card refund scam is a social media con in which fraudsters claim that account holders can get a refund on card transactions.
Fraudsters are creating convincing screenshots of fake bank deposits, offering to claim the refunds directly from someone’s bank. Responding users will be asked for their internet banking information, which the scammers will then use to set up a new mobile device on the individual’s account.
It’s important to be alert whenever someone is asking for your bank details.
Internet anonymity helps scammers to carry out online shopping fraud. But there are ways to protect yourself.
If you're buying something from a company or person you don't know, do your research first by checking the seller’s review history. Be wary of recently created accounts with a lot of positive feedback. They could be fake reviews.Type in the address and double-check the spelling to ensure that the site you're buying from is genuine and not a copycat. Typically, fake addresses will have one or two letters that differ from the real site.
It’s important to avoid fake websites or advertisements that appear to be from legitimate retailers. When something seems too good to be true, it’s worth proceeding with caution.
Be wary of suspicious text messages or emails claiming to be from a courier.
This scam invites customers to click on a link to download a malicious tracking app containing spyware. Your banking details, passwords and other sensitive information become vulnerable.
Safely check for missed parcels by using official websites of delivery companies if you’re expecting a package. And, most importantly, never click on a link sent from an unknown number.
While scammers have become more sophisticated, scams often come with warning signs.
Here's how to identify some common scams:
Fraudulent emails (also known as phishing scams) are a type of cybercrime. These emails can look like they’re from a trusted source and are sometimes difficult to identify.
Follow these steps to spot a scam email:
Scam emails will often have links to hoax websites. Never click on links; instead, hover your mouse over the link to view the domain. You can then determine if the link is credible.
It’s also crucial that you don’t open an attachment. These might hold a virus and pose a threat to you and your personal information.
If there is a phone number included, do not click it or attempt to ring this number. Instead, look up their contact details on their trusted website and call through there to validate the email.
It's always wise to be on guard when you receive a text message out of the blue. Scammers trick people into revealing personal information, including bank account details. Scam messages often use urgency and emotion to prompt responses without giving you time to think.
If you’ve received a text from an unknown number and they claim to be a company or person you trust, call them on their official number. Never click on a link in a suspicious text message.
There are several tell-tale signs of a fake website, including:
If you are concerned about a company's credibility, use GOV.UK to determine whether they are who they claim to be.
Fraudsters might target you by telephone. Companies might pose as HMRC, your bank or even a third-party compensation recovery firm.
First, be aware of unsolicited calls. Fraudsters often put people under pressure to force them to act quickly.
Never share sensitive information over the phone. If in doubt, hang up and dial the company's official number.
At Shawbrook, we will never request sensitive or personal information, which includes PINs or your 16-digit account number. If you receive an unexpected call from us and you’re concerned the caller might be an imposter, hang up and contact us from a different phone.
For more information about our commitment to keeping you safe, take a look at our customer security policy.
If you’ve experienced any online scam, it’s vital that you report it.
What you should do:
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