Scams to watch out for

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud then please call us on 01228 403141 (Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8.30am to 4pm) to discuss how we can help you.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud then please call us on 01228 403141 (Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8.30am to 4pm) to discuss how we can help you and also report your case to Action Fraud.

Be wary of scams related to coronavirus (Covid-19)

Criminals use exceptional circumstances such as the current COVID-19 situation as an opportunity to target people for fraud scams.

They often pose as employees of genuine organisations, such as building societies, banks or the government, claiming they are dealing with coronavirus-related issues. They may ask you to pay them money upfront or provide personal information which enables them to commit fraud.

Scammers often use pressure tactics to stop you thinking about what they’re asking you to do, so please take extra care at this time.

Scams to watch out for

Criminals are using a variety of tactics including fake emails, phone calls, texts and social posts, using coronavirus as their cover story.

Number Spoofing

Fraudsters will make it appear that they are phoning from a number of a genuine bank or building society.

A common scam is someone claims to be calling from the fraud team and that fraudulent activity has been detected on their account. The call can follow this pattern:

  • They appear to be genuine and often advise people to check the number they are calling from to create a false sense of security.
  • The fraudsters then ask the customer to confirm card details or internet banking details.
  • They also ask for One Time Passcodes and say this is either to verify the identity of the customer or to cancel/refund the fraudulent transaction.

We would never ask a customer to provide us with any card details or Internet Banking details to cancel a transaction.

Delivery company and phone provider texts

Customers often receive texts which appear to have been sent by a delivery company saying they have missed a delivery and need to pay to have it redelivered or from a phone provider saying they have been unable to take their payment. A delivery scam works like this:

  • The scammer will pressure you to click a link, included in the text, to provide banking details.
  • If this information is given, it can be used either to take fraudulent card transactions or to identify who the customer banks with and then target them with number spoofing.

A genuine company would never send a link via text and ask you to update payment details.

WhatsApp and social media

Fraudsters will often hack social media accounts and send messages to friends or family asking for emergency money. The messages appear to be genuine as they come from the known person’s account.

  • Always phone the person first to make sure the message is genuine.

We’ve also seen more scams through WhatsApp where a customer will receive a message from someone usually claiming to be a son/daughter saying they have got a new phone and have an urgent payment to make however because they are on a new phone they are unable to access their own Internet Banking.

  • The messages never address the person by name and usually address the recipient as ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.
  • These messages will be sent to hundreds of people. Eventually, someone will respond.

Again we recommend contacting the person they are claiming to be on a number you already have for them and not the new number.

Investment scams

There is a huge increase in investment scams relating to Bitcoin or other digital currencies. If you are looking to invest, we urge you to research any firm and any financial advisors.

  • Search the company on the registers of the official regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check they are a regulated firm here.
  • Search the company on Companies House.
  • There may be restrictions on withdrawals. Make sure your expected returns are realistic: past performance is no predictor of future performance. Your capital is always at risk.

Fake websites

Fraudsters will often use fake websites which appear to be genuine organisations to get customers to contact them. For example, fake Paypal and Amazon websites appear high on the search list on Google.

  • Always check the web link you are clicking on.
  • Log in to the company’s website and contact them through your own account rather than through a number found online.

Romance fraud

Fraudsters will use social media platforms, dating sites, social media and online gaming to speak to people over long periods of time to gain their trust. Eventually, they will either directly ask for money or put you in a position where you want to help and offer to send them money.

Never send money to someone you have only spoken to online and never met in person.

These are just a few examples of how criminals have been trying to trick people in the current climate, but please be aware that scammers are taking advantage in other ways too. HMRC have a list of current scams on their website including what to do if you think you’ve been targeted.

Fraud Protections Tips
There are a number of small steps you can take to collectively make a big difference in protecting yourself financially from criminals.
01228 403141
Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8.30am to 4pm
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud please get in touch.