Take Five To Stop Fraud

I’m sure we’ve all been scammed or been a victim to some sort of fraud or even received a text or email prompting us for personal information and money. It’s happened to me on a few occasions but acting quickly seriously helped. My credit card was cloned and a few payments were taken. However due to contacting my credit card company and being one of those neurotic people who checks their online bank accounts daily it was quickly picked up and dealt with right away.


I was kindly invited to the Take Five Event at the Hucklestree, Shoreditch hosted by the lovely ladies over at Mumsnet to learn more about fraud and scam prevention. We sat and listened to experts and influencers on a panel who included Carrie Langton, co-founder of Mumsnet, Phil Robertson, head of Future Bank for Tesco,  Elaine Ross, head of fraud at TSB, Tony Blake, senior fraud prevention officer, influencer from Not Another Mummy Blogger, Alison Perry and Motherhood the Real Deal blogger, Tayla Stone.

I came away with some invaluable tips so I’m going to share them with you in this blog post. I think it’s so important we get the word out there and help stop those scammers and fraudsters from taking our hard-earned cash.


Top Tips to Beating Fraud and Scams


1. Consider the best way to pay. Credit cards are the best way to pay for good and services as they offer considerably more protection than a debit card. Also using PayPal is another option as their customer service resolution team are brilliant at helping you get your money back if you’ve been scammed.


2. If it sounds too good to be true than it probably is. We’ve all received those emails that say you’re owed £x tax return fill in this form below.. DON’T do it! HMRC never email and will always send letters in the post. Check who the sender of the email is and if in doubt call HMRC or the business directly yourself.


3. Always use websites you trust and are familiar with. If it doesn’t have a padlock icon in the address bar or the site doesn’t begin with ‘https’ stay well away.


4. Create passwords that are long and use a mixture of letters, numbers and that are both upper and lower case. It’s also best to change your password on a regular basis.


5. Be cautious of companies who ask for your user id, passwords or any other classified information. Genuine companies will not ask you for these details, there usually only asked for when you’re logging into your secured online banking.


And finally, take five and stop and think;

If you’ve grown suspiciously aware of fraudulent activity or are unsure about what letter, email or text you’ve received contact the company directly and NEVER give out any personal details.


Different Types of Fraud/Scams


Push Payments

A​ ​push​ ​payment​ ​is​ ​a​ ​specific​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​scam​ ​where​ ​consumers​ ​are​ ​socially​ ​engineered into​ ​authorising​ ​the​ ​transfer​ ​of​ ​funds​ ​to​ ​an​ ​account​ ​they​ ​believe​ ​belongs​ ​to​ ​a legitimate​ ​payee​ ​or​ ​organisation,​ ​for​ ​example,​ ​a‘safe​ ​account’.E.g.​ ​A​ ​customer discusses​ ​making​ ​a​ ​booking​ ​on​ ​Airbnb​ ​and​ ​receives​ ​an​ ​email​ ​request​ ​to​ ​transfer​ ​a payment​ ​into​ ​an​ ​account​ ​with​ ​the​ ​details​ ​included​ ​in​ ​the​ ​email,​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​going through​ ​the​ ​usual​ ​provider’s​ ​channels.​ ​Once​ ​the​ ​money​ ​has​ ​been​ ​transferred​ ​by​ ​the customer,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​a​ ​form​ ​of​ ​push​ ​payment​ ​fraud​ ​in which​ ​the​ ​bank​ ​is​ ​not​ ​liable​ ​to​ ​cover​ ​the​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​money,​ ​because​ ​it​ ​is​ ​an​ ​authorised and​ ​willing​ ​transfer​ ​of​ ​funds.


Clicks​ ​and​ ​links

A​ ​text​ ​might​ ​not​ ​be​ ​from​ ​who​ ​you​ ​think​ ​–​ ​‘Smishing’​ ​is​ ​when​ ​criminals​ ​pretend​ ​a​ ​message​ ​is from​ ​your​ ​bank​ ​or​ ​another​ ​organisation​ ​you​ ​trust.​ ​They​ ​will​ ​usually​ ​tell​ ​you​ ​there​ ​has​ ​been fraud​ ​on​ ​your​ ​account​ ​and​ ​will​ ​ask​ ​you​ ​to​ ​deal​ ​with​ ​it​ ​by​ ​calling​ ​a​ ​number​ ​or​ ​visiting​ ​a​ ​fake website​ ​to​ ​update​ ​your​ ​personal​ ​details.

Criminals​ ​don’t​ ​just​ ​try​ ​and​ ​contact​ ​you​ ​by​ ​phone​ ​and​ ​text,​ ​they​ ​also​ ​‘phish’,​ ​contacting​ ​you by​ ​email​ ​too.​ ​So​ ​always​ ​be​ ​suspicious​ ​of​ ​unsolicited​ ​emails​ ​that​ ​are​ ​supposedly​ ​from​ ​your bank​ ​or​ ​some​ ​other​ ​trusted​ ​organisation​ ​because​ ​the​ ​address​ ​can​ ​easily​ ​be​ ​faked.​ ​Never automatically​ ​click​ ​on​ ​any​ ​links​ ​they​ ​contain​ ​either,​ ​not​ ​before​ ​stopping​ ​to​ ​check​ ​if​ ​they​ ​seem genuine​ ​first.


Sharing​ ​personal​ ​information

Sharing​ ​personal​ ​information​ ​is​ ​a​ ​specific​ ​scam​ ​where​ ​conversations​ ​with​ ​customers​ ​are engineered​ ​to​ ​gather​ ​information​ ​from​ ​a​ ​customer​ ​that​ ​is​ ​used​ ​to​ ​defraud​ ​them.​ ​The​ ​key things​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​are​ ​to​ ​always​ ​question​ ​uninvited​ ​approaches​ ​and​ ​never​ ​give​ ​out personal​ ​or​ ​financial​ ​details,​ ​in​ ​case​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​scam.​ ​Always​ ​contact​ ​the​ ​company​ ​you​ ​think​ ​the call​ ​is​ ​from​ ​directly​ ​using​ ​a​ ​known​ ​email​ ​or​ ​phone​ ​number.


Well-known​ ​fraud​ ​and​ ​scams

Email​ ​from​ ​HMRC​ ​offering​ ​a​ ​refund

A​ ​Call​ ​from​ ​your​ ​bank​ ​about​ ​fraud​ ​asking​ ​you​ ​to​ ​move​ ​your​ ​money​ ​to​ ​a​ ​safe​ ​account

An​ ​email​ ​from​ ​a​ ​foreign​ ​prince​ ​offering​ ​untold​ ​riches​ ​if​ ​money​ ​is​ ​transferred​ ​to​ ​them


Message​ ​from​ ​WhatsApp​ ​asking​ ​you​ ​to​ ​input​ ​financial​ ​information​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to continue​ ​to​ ​use​ ​the​ ​service

Call​ ​from​ ​a​ ​broadband​ ​provider​ ​to​ ​say​ ​the​ ​internet​ ​connection​ ​is​ ​running​ ​slow​ ​and their​ ​engineer​ ​can​ ​‘fix’​ ​the​ ​problem​ ​by​ ​taking​ ​control​ ​of​ ​your​ ​computer

Email​ ​from​ ​Amazon​ ​asking​ ​you​ ​to​ ​disclose​ ​personal​ ​information​ ​to​ ​reactivate​ ​your


Text​ ​message​ ​offering​ ​money​ ​off​ ​at​ ​a​ ​supermarket​ ​if​ ​a​ ​link​ ​in​ ​the​ ​message​ ​is​ ​clicked


Call​ ​from​ ​a​ ​builder​ ​or​ ​contractor​ ​asking​ ​for​ ​money​ ​to​ ​be​ ​paid​ ​directly​ ​to​ ​a​ ​new​ ​bank


Email​ ​from​ ​your​ ​utility​ ​provider​ ​offering​ ​a​ ​refund

Student​ ​Loans​ ​Company​ ​email​ ​stating​ ​loans​ ​have​ ​been​ ​suspended​ ​due​ ​to incomplete​ ​student​ ​information


For more information on avoiding fraud head over to the Take Five website.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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