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Financial #Scam Takes Place ‘Every 15 Seconds’

A financial scam was committed once every 15 seconds in the first half of the year, prompting a new campaign to highlight the risks.

More than one million cases of card, cheque, phone or online fraud were recorded from January to June, Financial Fraud Action (FFA) said. This was a 53% rise on the same period last year.

The FFA, which is funded by banks and payment card firms, is pushing advice to help prevent fraud.

Losses are often refunded by banks, but not in every case. Many people are too embarrassed to admit they have been caught out.

Last year, financial fraud losses reached £755m – a 26% increase on the previous year. You can probably add to that a significant sum that goes unreported every year.

Email deception, as well as phone and text-based scams, are now common tools in the modern-day bank robber’s trade – reflected in official crime figures which now include fraud data.

How to protect yourself from fraud

  • Never disclose personal details such as PINs and passwords
  • Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine
  • Don’t be rushed. Genuine callers allow time to return a call
  • Consider your instincts
  • Have confidence to refuse unusual requests

Some of the most common scams:

  • Phone scams: Fraudsters may fake the telephone number on a display screen, tricking you into thinking that it is a genuine call from a bank before asking for personal details
  • Text message scams: You receive a message claiming there has been fraud on your account and are asked to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details
  • Email scams: Using copied branding from trusted organisations, the emails usually contain a link which forwards you onto a website that gathers your personal information or installs malicious software on your computer
  • Online scams: Include fake pop-ups in your online banking window, sending you “scam alert” messages hiding malicious software, or faking retailer websites to make you input your financial details
  • Invoice fraud: Criminals locate genuine business invoice details, including payment dates, then pose as regular suppliers taking payment before disappearing. Those sending genuine invoices are unaware the details have been copied
  • CEO spoofing: Fraudsters send workers an email claiming to be from the chief executive or some other senior member of staff asking you make an urgent payment outside of normal procedures

More: The Met Police “Little Book of Big Scams”

For more information on this story, visit this BBC News article.

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Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.

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