How easy is it to be a victim of a scam?
Well, the easy answer is easy. Yes, that is the answer, easy.
Because of this, I am going to write, hopefully, each month, a short article on the latest scams and phishing to keep you aware of the latest trends.
In the UK, it is estimated that scams cost the economy a staggering £5 - £10 billion a year, this is only an estimate because too many people fail to report scams because they are too embarrassed to do so.
53% of people over 65 have been targeted by a scam.
37% of people have been targeted 5 times or more. I personally have been targeted more than 5 times this month alone!
Only 5% of scam victims report this crime to the police.
22% of people do not tell anyone at all as they are too ashamed.
45% of people, despite knowing about such crimes have taken no action to protect themselves and their family.
By scams, we are not just talking about the African prince who wants to transfer money into the UK and offers you half his fortune of $50 million to help him do so. We are also talking about very subtle scams, the ones you really have to keep your wits about you to notice.
Scams and phishing attacks can come by mail, email, telephone, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, Twitter and even Tik-Tok. In fact, these con artists will use any communication means known to get your money.
Scammers will claim to be the police, your bank, HMRC, credit card companies, the Post Office, DHL, TNT, Yodel, DPD, even long lost family or your best friend. In fact any company you deal with or may have dealings with.
Today, let us look at email scams. These are plenty and varied, but a common approach is from your bank, or at least that is what it looks like.
You receive an email from your bank, well it looks like your bank, it has the correct logo, the head office address and phone number and may even know your name and account number. The message is simple,
Dear Mr Soft-Touch,
There has been suspicious activity noted on your account, please click on the link below and log into your account to check.
Manager – Fraud Investigations.
The first thing to do is, obviously, click on the link to see if it’s true.
NO!!! Never, ever click on the link, it will take you to a website that looks identical to your bank login page where the scammer will harvest your login details for future use.
If you receive such an email, look at the email address. It might look fine at first glance, but closer examination and it comes from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org obvious minor spelling errors. But more often than not, it is from an email address that is obviously not from your bank but a completely random address.
If you do feel the need to check your account, come out of email and either use your mobile phone app, or your normal online banking service to check. If you are still worried, telephone your bank and ask to speak to the fraud department, ask them if they have sent you an email. They do not mind you reporting it to them, it’s their job. Finally, forward the entire email, complete with any headers and footers to email@example.com
This is a UK government department set up specifically to garner intelligence and information on scammers, to trace the origins and shut them down. They won't report back to you, but they will investigate where appropriate. Never get tired of reporting scams, because the scammers will never get tired of trying to con you.
Finally, if you have been a victim of a scam, do yourself and the rest of us a favour. Report it.
Member since: 22nd September 2011
Having worked for 40 years in the pump industry in Eastbourne and Hastings and also owned my own company importing stone slabs for use in kitchen worktops, I am now retired and enjoying every minute of...
The following Cookies are used on this Site. Users who allow all the Cookies will enjoy the best experience and all functionality on the Site will be available to you.
You can choose to disable any of the Cookies by un-ticking the box below but if you do so your experience with the Site is likely to be diminished.
In order to interact with this site.
To help us to measure how users interact with content and pages on the Site so we can make things better.
To show content from Google Maps.
To show content from YouTube.
To show content from Vimeo.
To share content across multiple platforms.
To view and book events.
To show user avatars and twitter feeds.
To show content from TourMkr.
To interact with Facebook.
To show content from WalkInto.