Scams seem to be everywhere these days, constantly presenting risks to companies and individuals during our daily lives. Whether online or offline, scams can cause huge distress to the victims and can often be responsible for serious financial losses. So which types of scams are the most common ones to look out for?
1. Credit Card Scams
Credit card scams have become increasingly elaborate over recent years as conmen think up new ways to get access to your cards and PIN numbers.
In a recent article in The Independent, the author described how fraudsters had watched him withdraw money and then followed him home to get hold of his address. They then called him the next day with details of his address and last withdrawal, and claimed that his card had been used to make a number of purchases since.
When he called his bank’s number on the back of his card, the fraudster was still on the end of the phone, and tricked him into handing over his cards and PIN numbers, resulting in thousands of pounds of losses.
2. Phishing Scams
Phishing scams have long been used to trick unwary internet users into handing over their passwords and bank details without realising it.
Victims will usually receive an email that claims to be from their bank, but when they click on a link within the email to visit the bank’s website, they are actually taken to another website where they then enter their details, which are stolen by the fraudsters.
3. ID Theft Scams
ID theft is a major problem across the UK and the world. With the huge growth in popularity of social media, many people are unwittingly making it easier for fraudsters to get access to their personal information and steal their identities.
Conmen can then use this information to open bank accounts and commit other fraudulent activities, often without the victim even knowing that their identity has been compromised.
General Tips for Avoiding Scams
There are some general tips to help avoid falling victim to scams. For example, with credit card fraud you should never type your PIN number into a phone or reveal it in any way, and if someone from your bank calls asking for any details, make sure you call your bank’s phone number on a different phone.
To avoid phishing scams, never click on links in emails from banks and type in your details. Instead, always go directly to the website or, even better, call the institution to check that the email is genuine.
To help avoid ID theft, don’t put too much information about yourself on social media websites. You should also get into the habit of destroying all documents that contain personal identification rather than throwing them away, for example by shredding them.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- 4 Ways that ID Thieves Can Steal Your Identity (assuredsecurityshredding.co.uk)
- How to Dispose of Important Documents at Home (businessdivision.biz)
- Vishing: Scammers steal £7m in one year in fake bank phone calls fraud (mirror.co.uk)