Financial fraud is a common issue that, with the right knowledge, you can safely avoid. If you receive a request to provide personal or financial information, you need to take a moment to reflect and step back from the situation. Yes, even if they say they’re the bank or other trusted organisation, you still need to take the time to stop and think.
Here is a list of five tips to consider before falling for a possible scam and keeping you—and your money—safe.
1. Watch out for requests to move money
A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust or have used in the past, and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
2. Never automatically click on links/files or unexpected messages
Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text. Also, remember to always question uninvited approaches in case it happens to be a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
3. Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), that does not automatically mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust; criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud or been involved in an accident.
Scammers often use this to draw you into the conversation, to scare you into acting and revealing security details. Remember, criminals can also make any telephone number appear on your phone handset so even if you recognise it or it seems authentic, do not use it as verification they are genuine.
4. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision
Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; they would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons. Remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions. A genuine bank or some other trusted organisation won’t rush you or mind waiting if you want time to think.
5. Listen to your instincts and stay in control
If something feels wrong then it’s always right to question it. Criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home. They may appear trustworthy, but they may not be who they claim to be.
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information, or simply hang up if you have been contacted over the phone. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations, but it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control.
If you’ve taken all these steps and still feel uncomfortable or unsure about what you’re being asked, never hesitate to contact your bank or financial service provider on a number you trust, such as the one listed on their website or on the back of your payment card. Allowing yourself time to stop, think, and remember these five steps can make all the difference between staying safe and becoming a victim of financial fraud.
If you feel as though you could benefit from Count’s accountancy expertise to keep you and your finances in check, contact us today.