Five ways to fight financial fraud

Five ways to fight financial fraud

Do you use the same password or PIN for numerous accounts? If you're one of the 25% who admit to doing this, you're much more likely to fall victim to online fraud.

Comparison website Comparethemarket.com reckons one in ten people were the victim of a cyber-attack in the last year, with their debit or credit card details stolen or compromised, and close to two-thirds of these instances resulted in money being stolen.

It means many are taking fraud more seriously - almost half (49%) of people surveyed said they now check their bank accounts more regularly and a third (33%) no longer share their banking details.

Financial fraud doesn't just happen online. The Money Advice Service found last year that two thirds of UK adults had received suspicious phone calls, while scammers can also operate door-to-door.

Five tips to stop fraud

A new campaign launches today to help you tackle financial fraud and protect yourself from the sneaky tricks being used to get your money.

Take Five, organised by major banks and financial service providers in the UK, found despite 70% of potential fraud being prevented in the UK, £755million was still lost in 2015.

The five top tips to make you stop and think about whether you're potentially at risk of fraud:

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password - it's never ok to reveal these details.
  2. Don't assume an email request or caller is genuine - people aren't always who they say they are.
  3. Don't be rushed – a genuine bank or organisation won't mind waiting to give you time to stop and think.
  4. Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it.
  5. Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information.

What to do if you think you've been scammed

First, stop sending any money straight away and change your security details such as passwords, usernames and PINs.

Next up, report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online. You should also speak to your bank.

Finally keep an eye on your accounts for any further unauthorised activity, and be wary of follow up scams.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.


10 PHOTOS
Victims of scams and fraud
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Victims of scams and fraud
Susan Tollefsen, Britain's oldest first time mother, was scammed out of £160,000 by a fraudster she met on an online dating site. A man claiming to be an Italian gold and diamond dealer told her he was in the middle of a land deal but couldn't access cash. Tollefsen felt sorry for him and started wiring him money, eventually selling her jewellery, her flat and borrowing £32,000 from friends to give him. Read the full story here.
In March 2015 an American woman who was only identified as 'Sarah' went on the popular US television programme the Dr Phil Show to reveal she had sent $1.4 million to a man that she had never met. Although she was certain she wasn't being scammed, her cousin made her go on the programme because she was convinced it was a scam. Find out more about the story here.
Maggie Surridge employed Lee Slocombe to lay a £350 deck in her garden in March 2015. However Slocombe used a combination of lies to scam Surridge out of thousands of pounds. He told Surridge that the front and back walls were dangerous and needed rebuilding and also conned her into building a porch, all for the cost of £8,500. Read the full story here.
It's not just individuals who can be the victims of scams, big corporations can also fall foul of these fraudulent practices. In 2015 Claire Dunleavy repeatedly used a 7p 'reduced' sticker to get significant amounts of money off her shopping at an Asda store in Burslem, ending up with her paying just £15.66 for a shop that should have cost £69.02. Read the full story here.
Sylvia Kneller, 76, was conned out of £200,000 over the space of 56 years thanks to scam mail. The pensioner became addicted to responding to the fraudsters, convinced that she would one day win a fortune. Ms Kneller would receive letters claiming she had won large sums of money but she needed to send processing fees to claim her prize. Learn about the full story here
Leslie Jubb, 103, became Britain's oldest scam victim in August last year when he was conned out of £60,000 after being sent an endless stream of catalogues promising prizes in return for purchasing overpriced goods. The extent of this con was discovered when Mr Jubb temporarily moved into a care home and his family discovered what he had lost. Find out more about this story here
Stephen Cox won more than £100,000 on the National Lottery in 2003 but has been left with nothing after falling victim to two conmen. The 63-year-old was pressured into handing over £60,000 to the men who told him his roof needed fixing. They walked him into banks and building societies persuading him to part with £80,000 of cash while doing no work in return. See the full story here
Last year the Metropolitan Police released CCTV footage of a woman who had £250 stolen at a cash machine in Dagenham. The scam involved two men distracting the woman at the machine, pressing the button for £250 then taking the money and running away. Read about the full story here.
Rebecca Ferguson shot to fame as a runner up on the X-Factor in 2010 but fell victim to a scam artist last year when someone she had believed to be a friend conned her out of £43,000. Rachel Taylor befriended the singer in 2012 and claimed to be a qualified accountant, so Ferguson allowed her to look after her finances. Instead of doing this Taylor stole £43,000 from the Liverpudlian singer. Read more here
When Rebecca Lewis discovered her fiance had started a relationship with a woman he met online she packed her bags to leave. But that didn't stop her checking out the mystery woman, Rebecca quickly realised Paul Rusher's new love was actually part of a romance scam. She told Paul just before he sent the scammers £2,000 which was supposed to bring his new girlfriend to England. Find the full story here.
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