Best Practices Against Fraud
We all know stories of someone who got scammed or clicked a link that it should have not been clicked. Gladly that happens only to other people, right? Wrong!
Online fraud is becoming an industry and there are many perils out there. Fraudsters chase and persuade pretty much everyone they can, so it is important to remain vigilant and protected. Look out for any fraudulent email, phone call, text message or social media post – if it looks too good to be true, well…. that’s because it is!
Emails and text messages (Phishing and Smishing)
One of the types of fraud that it is important to keep an eye out for is phishing emails or smishing texts. These are automated attacks with the criminals targeting a wide range of people through either email or text messages. These attacks require you to click on a malicious link (URL) or attachment contained within the body of the content, which will be disguised as someone trusted, such as a bank or service provider.
Typically, once someone clicks the link, they will be redirected to a fake webpage that looks like the website of the trusted source, prompting that the individual supplies their details, providing it to the criminals to use.
Never click on links or download attachments that ask you to enter your personal or financial information into fake websites or look ‘too good to be true’. In some cases, this can lead to your identity being stolen.
Phone calls (Vishing)
Another type of fraud that it is important to remain vigilant against is fraudulent phone calls, or vishing. This is a manual attack that aims to collect critical personal information through the victims’ personal phone number. Often referred to as voice phishing, criminals use sophisticated social engineering tactics to trick victims into providing this information, such as bank details and credit card numbers, by revealing certain private information.
In many instances, the criminal will pretend to be calling from the government, tax office, police or victim’s bank.
It could be fraud or a scam if you’re being pressurised to act quickly - only criminals will try to rush or panic you. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Top tips to protect yourself against Fraud
- Don’t throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
- If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal your full password, login details or account numbers. Be aware that a bank will never ask for your PIN or password.
- If you are concerned about the source of a call, then take the name of the alleged organisation and call them back on their registered number.
- Check your statements carefully and report anything suspicious to the bank or financial service provider concerned
- If you move to a new house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
- Computer Viruses – Data shows that criminals are using computer viruses to steal personal and financial information to perpetrate fraud. The best way to avoid this is to keep your computer firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date.
- Social Media – If your profile isn’t set to private then anybody can see your personal data supplied on your profile, including name, date of birth and contact information. Also don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t recognise and be wary of communication and requests from people you don’t know.
- The following credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service to alert you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potentially fraudulent activity:
- It’s also good practice to keep yourself up to date with your credit file and financial accounts, questioning anything that you don’t recognise.
If you have noticed further fraudulent activity on your credit file then we would advise you to follow the following steps:
- Contact Action Fraud and inform them of the fraudulent activity. You can do that here.
- Register your details with the Cifas protective registration service. This service reduces the risk of your details being successfully used to obtain fraudulently opened facilities with other organisations. You can do that here.
- Contact your bank and/or the police and advise them of the recent activity. They will be able to advise you of the appropriate steps to take.
For any future enquiries please contact us on ReportFraud@jnbank.co.uk