Latest: Royal Mail are warning that missed delivery cards stating ‘Something for you’ look like theirs but are a con. Responding by phone can cost £45. Full details at ActionFraud.police.uk
A true story.
Last month, a friend of mine decided to treat her family to a week’s holiday in Majorca. She chose a beautiful villa she had found on a prestigious looking website, and not wanting to miss the opportunity, booked it. She paid £2400 by bank transfer, the only method available on the site. A few days later she had a query about bedding and emailed the villa rental company. Guess what? No reply. Indeed, no website. It had vanished along with her money.
Fraud & Cybercrime
Cybercrime and fraud is a growing issue in the UK, as a way for criminals to make money quickly and easily. Here are Action Fraud’s ten tips to avoid falling victim to a scam.
- Do not give ANY personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
- Many frauds start with a phishing email. Banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine. To make sure call your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website (typed directly into the address bar) or the phone book.
- Destroy and shred receipts with your card details on and post with your name and address on.
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.
- Sign-up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code whenever you are given the option while shopping online. This involves you registering a password with your card company and provides additional security to online transactions with signed-up retailers.
- If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, or financial institutions you don’t normally deal with contact you about outstanding debts, take action. Your identity may have been stolen.
- You should regularly get a copy of your credit file and check it for entries you don’t recognise. Equifax, Experian, and other sites all provide your credit file. An identity protection service (e.g. ProtectMylD) monitors your credit rating and alerts you by email or SMS to potential fraudulent activity.
- Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering you business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a Police officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you’ve already lost.
- If you need advice about fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. To report a fraud, you can either go to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.