Posted on: 11 April, 2019

How to protect yourself against fraud

These days, it’s more important than ever to check your finances and spending patterns regularly.

These days, it’s more important than ever to check your finances and spending patterns regularly. Methods of stealing money and fraud are becoming ever-more sophisticated – so it’s vital that you know how to reduce the chances of (and even better, prevent) fraudulent activity from happening to you. Fraudsters are notorious for attempting to trick others into giving away valuable details/items.


Phishing emails are a common approach taken by fraudsters to try and steal your money. It’s often obvious to tell when you’ve received a false email – but some are created with a very high level of intelligence and are harder to spot. These are created as an attempt to retrieve sensitive information – and often contain a link that, when clicked, will take you through to an unsecure website that puts your private details at risk. It’s also important to ensure that you don’t open any e-mail attachments that you’re unsure of.


If you’re feeling dubious about an email that you’ve received, look out for some of the tell-tale signs. The email address of the sender can be an initial clue. If the sender claims to be from an established business, such as your usual bank, and their email address is published with a public account – such as Gmail – then be suspicious. If the email is legitimate, then it should be sent from a private business email account. Many phishing emails are littered with spelling and grammar mistakes, and links to unrecognised websites – so make sure you also look out for these. It’s also important to be suspicious of any emails that tell you you’ve ‘won’ some money, or that ask for you to provide your banking details or any passwords.


Many scammers also look to contact individuals over the phone. They’ll call your mobile or landline, pretending to be someone from, say, your usual internet provider or banking firm. These cases often involve the fraudster asking the victim to transfer funds to an unknown account – or click on a link they’ve been sent, which results in the involuntary sharing of their banking details, or the ability to hijack your computer/device. Look out for a particular sense of urgency; scammers are keen to get their hands on your details and run away with them as quickly as possible. If you’re ever in doubt of a company that’s trying to contact you or request private information, contact the company and ask about the caller.


If you’re ordering from an online website that you haven’t used before, take some time to do some research around the company before you input any personal details. If you search the company name alongside the word ‘scam’, you’ll soon discover any existing scamming claims. It’s also widely recommended that you create different passwords for different online accounts – this way, hackers will find it significantly harder to access multiple accounts at once. Try to remember to change your passwords often – twice a year is recommended in order for you to gain the maximum benefits from password protection.


The first and most common place that people spot unusual spending activity is on financial statements; so be sure to check these often, and flag anything that you don’t recognise. Additionally, if it’s available to you, shred any documents that contain personal information before recycling them – this includes receipts and junk mail that features your address.


It’s always good to stick with your gut feeling. If you think that something you receive is too good to be true, or if you suspect that someone suspicious is trying to obtain your information then take action straight away; don’t hesitate to call the relevant companies, or your bank, to report this behaviour.

Press enter or esc to cancel