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Concerned man on computer reading a suspicious email

 

Fraudsters come in many shapes and forms. It can be easy to fall for a scam, as they become smarter and look more sophisticated. So… Question before you action.

You may have received phishing messages, which usually scammers send out on mass and in hope of someone falling victim to them. Falling foul of their actions is an easy mistake to make, especially when received at the right time. For example, you receive a new bank card or your latest bill with your mobile provider is ready.

There can also be scammers who will target you directly through social media, selling you a ‘promise’. For example, dinner with a celebrity, a job or even a romantic relationship. Usually if it sounds too good to be true, it is fake.

 

 

Spotting fraud

Here are a few tips that can help you identify someone trying to scam you.

 

1. Look out for spelling mistakes and grammar errors

Fake fraudulent text message 

Marketers read their communications thousands of times and would not allow their communications to be sent using poor standards of English.

Others can claim to be someone else and contact you online. If you are approached on social media, look out for the blue verification link so you know if this person is who they say they are.

Scam Instagram message from someone claiming to be Andy Murray 

 

2. Take a look at the sender.

Whether this is an email or a text message, most companies will have their company name as the sender, and this will be included in the email address.

Example of a legitimate message from a company:

Legitimate text message from Hermes about an ASOS delivery 

 

 

3. Pressuring you into making a transaction

Whether this is on a call, or someone who you have been speaking to on the internet for a few days (or even more). If they are pressuring you to make a payment, then this is more than likely going to be a scam. Question before you action.

 

4. Being asked for login details

Do not provide your full login details to anyone! That is the rule of thumb.

 

5. Strange messages or requests from family and friends on social media

If it seems odd, they could be hacked, so do not click on any of the links.

 

We will all be targeted by scammers at some point or another, so here are some tips for what to do:

  • Do not click on any of the links
  • Do not reply to the message
  • Do not transfer any money! If the scammer is pretending to be your bank and encouraging you to make a payment, do not action anything. If you are unsure hang up or delete the message and if you want to call your provider get the number from their website.
  • Do not disclose any personal or online details including passwords.
  • Block the sender
  • If possible take a screen grab of the message and share this with the provider they are pretending to be. Most companies will have an email address you can send these too.

 

Question before you action.

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