CyberSecurity

5 Financial Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Financial Scams

During the first year of UK lockdowns, more than £34.5million was stolen through pandemic scams. Even as the country emerges from restrictions, the country is still facing an epidemic of financial scams. 

Mobile money accounts such as make it easier than ever to access and move money and online bank and money app, Monese, take account security seriously. As one of the industry leaders, they have helped pull together this top five list of online scams to look out for and provided tips on how to protect your money.

1. App Fraud

Authorized Pushed Payment (APP) fraud is when a scammer pretends to be a company or individual you already do business with to trick you into making a payment. 

APP fraud can take almost any form, including scamming you through faulty invoicing. 

How to protect yourself

  • Verify all payment information before transferring money to someone.
  • Contact the company or individual through their official business number to confirm they made the payment request. 
  • Never send any money without verification.

2. Pension Scams

Often, pension scams take the form of a free pension review, usually making initial contact via email, SMS, or phone. 

They will usually promote higher returns on your pension savings and use pressurized sales tactics. 

How to protect yourself

  • Always reject unexpected financial offers from individuals or companies you aren’t familiar with. 
  • Verify that an offer is real with a company or individual if you usually bank or do business with them. 
  • Don’t allow a salesperson to force you into a pressurized decision. 

3. Crypto Scams

As cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular, scammers are finding new ways to scam people through digital channels. 

Often, crypto scams will start in the comments section on social media. With scammers offering high rewards for people who invest with them. 

How to protect yourself

  • Don’t trust random “traders” who approach you via social media. 
  • Things that sound tempting and too good to be true – such as huge returns – usually are. 
  • Get proper advice on your investment strategies. 
  • Report any potential scammers to social media administrators. 

4. Delivery Fraud

Due to the change in delivery fees and customs taxes after Brexit, many scammers exploit an uncertain system. 

Scammers pretending to be Royal Mail and other well-known delivery companies send out text messages and try to get people to pay for items they aren’t expecting.

How to protect yourself

  • Never pay a delivery company any money through a text message link. 
  • If you expect a parcel from the EU and receive a message from a delivery company, verify its authenticity by calling the company’s official customer service line. 

5. Shopping Fraud

Unsecure websites or dodgy listings on resale sites are breeding grounds for shopping scams. 

You might not receive the goods you order, or you might even be buying from fake and malicious sites. 

How to protect yourself

  • Only shop on secure, reputable websites. 
  • Verify sellers through reviews and performance if you can. 
  • Only pay through secure payment methods and never pay by bank transfer. 

What to do if you’re scammed

It can be embarrassing to fall for a scam, but it’s essential not to let embarrassment stop you from taking action and protecting others from the same fate. 

If you fall for a scam, here’s what you should do:

  • Contact your bank – lock your card and alert your bank to when the scam happened so they can stop any fraudulent transactions. 
  • Report the fraud – in the UK, you can report financial fraud easily to Action Fraud

Anyone can be scammed. Protect yourself and always verify transactions, texts, or phone calls you receive about your money. 

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