Calls from fraudsters pretending to be us, asking you to open a new account or transfer money as your account has been compromised. They say the change should be done there and then and that you shouldn't visit our branch.
They might relate to vaccines, immunity tests, mortgage payments, payment holidays or tax rebates. Fraudsters may even ask you to move your money to a ‘safe account’, giving them access to your money.
They also include fake government web pages and text messages – some encourage you to input banking or security and personal details in order to access payments and tax refunds.
We've also seen fake emails from the World Health Organisation claiming that an attached document shows how you can prevent the spread of the disease. Clicking on the attachment infects computers with malicious key-logging software, which records every keystroke and allows the attackers to monitor your every move online.
There are uninvited approaches of people offering IT help for people working from home with fraudulent intentions.
Some criminals claim to be from the Red Cross or the NHS and offer to take your temperature, do paid tests for coronavirus or claim to sell things like protective face masks, vaccines and even hand sanitiser. Others just offer general help before stealing bank cards under the guise of doing shopping or collecting pensions.
It’s important not to let criminals rush or panic you into making a decision that you’d later wish you’d thought about for a bit longer. Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information, could keep you safe.
Someone steals your personal details and uses them to act fraudulently in your name. They could use your details to open bank accounts or take out loans, apply for credit cards and order goods leaving you with the debt. They may even be able to access your accounts.
Account takeover is a form of identity theft. A fraudster gains access to your personal information and uses it to take control of your online bank, building society or credit card account. Then they can steal your personal details and make fraudulent payments from your account.
A scammer can use different techniques to access your details, such as phishing, malicious Wi-Fi networks, malware that steals information from your device or by scouring your social media accounts. They could steal your mobile number or take advantage of a data breach, and once they’ve gained access to one of your accounts they could easily target others, especially if you use the same password for different apps.
Make sure your passwords are strong and unique, change them regularly and use a different one for each online account. Be wary of emails that ask you to click on links – they might look genuine but check out the email address and never give out confidential information by email or on an unsolicited call. Don’t open email attachments because they could install malware onto your computer.
And tighten up the security on your social media accounts. If a scammer can access your name, date of birth, phone number and your pet’s name, it might be enough to take over your account.
It's also good practice to check your account statements on a regular basis for unusual activity. It's quick and easy with our Online Services.
Sometimes we get offers of products and services through the post. They’re usually unwanted and often just too good to be true. Some might promise you the earth but ask you for money before they deliver. Many try and introduce a sense of urgency with a time limit to get you to act quickly.
A trader turns up on your doorstep unannounced to get business from you. They usually give you a quote for work you may not even need doing and often at a higher price than you should pay.
They’re often unpleasant and use threatening high pressure tactics to get you to commit to buying their goods and services. Some will demand payment before they start, or before they’ve finished the work and never come back to finish the job. They may not even be properly qualified to do the work.
Never agree to work being done on the spot. If someone knocks on door and tells you, 'you need work doing' – roof tiling, exterior painting, gutter repair – just say no. Be firm, they may not want to take ‘no’ for an answer.
If you know you need some work carried out, shop around – get a minimum of three quotes from reputable local traders. Ask friends for recommendations – it’s the best way to get someone you can trust to do the job.
Don’t take money out for them – if they offer to go with you to get cash out, refuse!
Have you been approached by a rogue trader? Then contact Trading Standards. Call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
If you feel like you're in danger call the police.
Someone encourages you to invest money in a scheme, but it turns out to be worthless or non-existent. You could lose your hard-earned savings, so always be cautious.
Investment fraud comes in many forms, but there’s usually one common promise when someone is encouraging you to invest in a new scheme. They’ll say you'll get a high return with little or no risk to your money. They’re usually time-limited offers, and they encourage you not to share with anyone.
All investments carry an element of risk – it’s worth remembering that even genuine investment opportunities, with the potential of high returns, carry a high risk.
Be especially cautious if the contact is uninvited and it’s through a cold call, email or letter you didn’t expect. Authorised firms aren't likely to contact you in this way.
Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. Consider taking independent professional financial advice before making any kind of investment decision, especially if the type of investment isn’t familiar to you.
Fraudsters could offer flights, accommodation and other travel services that just don’t exist. They may have set up a completely fraudulent website, or it can be just a fraudulent advert on a genuine site.
They may encourage you to pay for your holiday away from the site for a discount. They’ll often ask for a direct bank transfer and may even send a confirmation email to make it all look genuine.
Make sure your booking is confirmed by a consumer protection scheme such as ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and/or ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License). Don’t rely on seeing their logo, check membership on the ABTA or ATOL’s website.
Research any property before you book. Check listings on other sites and be cautious if prices differ significantly.
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