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PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM FRAUD

Costing billions every year to the UK economy, Fraud cons people out of hundreds and even thousands of pounds.

Seemingly fraudsters are becoming cleverer as the intricate web of corruption continuous to be extensive and therefore harder to spot. Whilst technology continues to advance to combat the fraudulent attempts, the number of people being targeted each year has increased meaning it is now more important than ever for people to learn how to protect themselves from falling victim to con artists.

Cost of Fraud

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Annual cost of fraud in the UK

is £193bn which is equal to nearly £3,000 per person.

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Identity fraud accounted for

£5.4bn which was taken from around 3.25 million victims.

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Every 15 seconds

someone in the UK becomes a victim to fraud.

Types of fraud

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Identity Fraud

Fraudsters will obtain personal information about you in order to take control of your account and/or impersonate you.

Phishing and Smishing

This is when fraudsters use email (phishing) and text message (smishing) to contact and pressurize victims into sharing their personal information.

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online-scam-aware

Vishing

Scammers will contact you pretending to be from a reputable organisation such as your bank or the police and will try to gain access to your account by asking you personal and financial questions.

Online Scams

Online scams could be in a variety of different forms but often fraudsters will imitate web pages which look like your online banking log in page.

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online-scam-aware

Spoofing

Email fraud (spoofing) is when fraudsters send emails under a forged sender address typically pretending to be someone you know and trust – such as a relative or friend.

Romance fraud

This is when the imposter will try to involve the victim emotionally, before pushing them into handing over confidential details or even money.

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How to shield yourself from fraud

Check your credit report

You credit report gives you a snap shot of all your credit accounts and financial history so if you see any accounts that are unfamiliar to you, debts you don’t recognise or see any applications for credit under your name which you didn’t make, then these are strong signs of fraud on your account.

Check your statements

Whilst this may seem obvious, many people don’t check their bank statements at all or they don’t check it meticulously. To see if they will be detected fraudsters will often make small purchases first, followed by a large scale theft.

Documents with personal information should be destroyed

Without any doubt, documents which hold sensitive financial information such as your payslips, bank statements and bills should be destroyed if you no longer require them. However, this rule shouldn’t only apply to financial documents as fraudsters can even use personal information from things like old subscriptions to get access to your account.

Redirect your mail

When you move houses, you should redirect your mail for at least a year to stop any confidential mail being received by a fraudster

Report lost or stolen documents

Documents like your passport and driving license are very important so if they are ever lost or stolen, you should report it as quickly as possible.

Don’t share your account information

Many people tell their password and pins to others, and some even write them down to help them remember. Whilst this may seem very convenient, this is very much a risky practise which should be avoided at all times.

Enable two step authentications

In the event the scammer is able to guess your password, you would be further protected if you had a two stage authentication process. The two-factor authentication uses a second device, such as your mobile phone, to confirm access. Whilst this may seem awkward initially, you would get an extra level of protection.

Be careful on social media

Social media is a very powerful tool which is used by almost everyone to connect with friends and family. However, you should be careful about what you share as some fraudsters will use the readily provided details like your date of birth, where you went to school and your pets name to answer common security questions asked by your bank to confirm your identity.

“Phishing” is a growing concern

Phishing is growing in popularity so it’s very important for all individuals to be careful when passing over sensitive information. Phishing emails often have bad grammar, out of date company logos and they ask for personal account information which under no circumstance should be provided. Remember, your bank or building society will never ask for personal information such as your pin and online login details.

Register to vote

Credit reference agencies use the electoral roll to verify your address, by keeping it up to date fraudsters will struggle to steal your identity and will fail to apply for credit under your name with a different address.

Report mail that is not received

If you are expecting important information in the post, then you should watch out for it. If the post is not received within a reasonable time, immediately contact the sender to let them know and monitor your bank/credit reports.

Organisations that can help with fraud

ActionFraud is the police fraud investigation department, if you have been a victim of fraud it is very important that your report the incident.

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