Wednesday, May 4, 2022

RED FLAG I’m a fraud expert – how to avoid the scam that could cost you £60,000

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Crooks are after your money and if you are not careful they could empty your bank account and steal all your money.


A scam expert has revealed the biggest trick you can fall for – and how to avoid it.


Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, told The Sun that the biggest type of fraud the bank sees is identity fraud.


“Half of the money we refund is due to identity fraud,” he said.


“People like me often say that criminals change tactics all the time.


“But this type of fraud is still prevalent and even getting worse – the breadth of impersonation is increasing.


In impersonation fraud, scammers pretend to be from a well-known company or service, from banks and delivery companies to Amazon and even the police.


An estimated £2billion was lost to fraud last year and this type of fraud accounts for a quarter of all cases.


And anyone can be targeted and Paul is no stranger to these fraudulent calls and messages himself, having just the other day received a text message pretending to be from Royal Mail.


Here’s how it works and how to avoid it.


In this type of scam, criminals try to trick you into giving out personal and financial information via email, phone call, or text message.


They are often extremely persuasive, often tapping into current trends or fears to appear more realistic.


For example, since the pandemic, there have been more fraudulent messages claiming to be from the NHS.


Criminals are now also taking advantage of the cost of living crisis and pretending to be from energy companies to steal your money.


Paul said: “It’s an indication of how reactive scammers are, jumping on the latest edition to make the scams more realistic.”


“Right now, in the livelihood crisis, no one can afford to lose that amount.”


But impersonating your bank is still one of the most common versions of this scam.


And although the average amount lost is £4,000 per case, it can be much more.


By pretending to be your bank, a criminal will attempt to extract your card details in order to go on a shopping spree, or trick you into transferring all your savings, leaving you with nothing.


Paul recently saw a case of a person who lost £60,000.


He said: “In this case, the criminals convinced the victim to transfer all their money to a new account.”

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