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Stay safe from fraud

June is Scams Awareness Month

Melissa à June 13, 2021

Stay safe from fraud

Each year, the UK’s Citizens Advice runs a Scams Awareness Month campaign to inform people of the different scams happening out there, how to stay safe and what to do if you do happen to fall for a fraud scheme. This year’s campaign takes place from 14–27 June.

Common scams you could face

Keeping you aware of the different types of fraud making the rounds is important to us too. We like to take every opportunity we can to educate you so that you, your money and your account stay protected.

The pandemic made way for several scams to thrive as fraudsters took advantage of the most vulnerable people affected by Covid-19. And they’re still going on.

Here we talk you through some of the most recent scams still making the rounds:

APP fraud

Also known as Authorised Pushed Payment fraud, this is when a scammer pretends to be a company or person you’re already familiar with or doing business with and tricks you into making a payment to their account. APP fraud can take many shapes and forms, from invoice to mandate scams.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Double-check payment information before sending money.
  • Transfer a small amount first and check payment has been received directly by the right party.
  • Make sure to call an official number to confirm any payment requests you receive via email.

Pension scams

This is a type of investment scam in which fraudsters may contact you via email, SMS, phone or even introduce themselves via a family or friend of yours who is also being scammed. They often offer free pension reviews, higher returns on your pension savings and use high-pressure sales tactics such as “limited-time offers”.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Don’t assume something is genuine just because a website or social media page looks real.
  • Always reject unexpected offers, especially if they’re coming out of the blue.
  • Don’t fall for pushy salespeople pressuring you to act fast.

Crypto scams

This is another type of investment scam that is popular on social media. You may notice criminals flooding the comments section of your favourite social network pretending to be successful crypto traders who can invest your money for high returns. Many scammers trying to lure you to their website are often phishing attempts to steal your information.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Don’t trust strangers you don’t know on social media — especially with your hard-earned money.
  • If something sounds too good to be true, remember that it probably is!
  • If you’re considering investing, always get independent advice first and do thorough research.

Romance fraud

This type of scam also happens a lot on social media and dating websites or apps. It’s when someone uses a fake profile to form a relationship with you, gain your trust and then ask for money or personal information from you to defraud you.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Avoid giving too much of your personal information (such as your full name, address and date of birth) to someone you’ve never met in person.
  • If you’re using an official dating website or app, stick to this form of communication only — many criminals will pressure you to take the conversation over to social media to avoid traces of them asking for money or personal information on the dating site.
  • Don’t let anyone guilt or pressure you into sending them money if you’ve never met in real life no matter how much you feel you trust them or believe their story.

Shopping fraud

This scam operates behind the anonymity of online and internet shopping. It can also take many forms including fake online shops, items not being received or getting goods that are different from what you ordered.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Always double-check the URL. Standard techniques used by criminals who want to send you to buy from a fake site include incorrect spelling, letters replaced by characters or numbers, special characters inserted, altered endings to URLs or adding an IP address.
  • Buy from reputable sites or authorised sellers listed on a major brand’s website.
  • Avoid bank transfer buying and search for secure checkout options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal or major card schemes like Mastercard, instead.

Delivery fraud

Fraudsters are taking advantage of all the confusion and uncertainty regarding new delivery fees following Brexit. Criminals are targeting recipients pretending to be from Royal Mail, Hermes, DPD and DHL with SMS messages asking them to pay for the release of parcels.

Tips for staying safe:

  • If you’re not sure about the fees you’re being charged, it’s best to call the courier company’s official number to check the charges and what you owe.
  • Remember that you’ll only ever receive an SMS from Royal Mail if you’ve opted in for the service.
  • If a parcel from Royal Mail couldn't be delivered to you, they’ll leave you a missed parcel slip to let you know.

Steps to take if you fall for a scam

Don’t be ashamed if you happen to fall for fraud as it’s much more common than you may think. Action Fraud reported £1.7 billion lost to scams in the last year, and UK’s National Cyber Security Centre’s Active Cyber Defence program said it mitigated more than 700,000 online scams last year. And while this number may seem high, it doesn’t include the number of scams that go unreported.

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

1. Lock your card

Do this immediately right from your app to avoid any further illegal use of your card or information.

2. Contact our Support team

Get in touch through our in-app chat or email us at fraudhelp@monese.com to let us know you’ve been a victim of fraud and provide us with the transaction details and information on what happened.

3. Report

Each country has its own official authority for reporting cybercrime and fraud — in the UK, for example, you can report your situation to Action Fraud. In the UK, you can also forward any text to SPAM (7726).

Resources

Keep in mind that the scams mentioned here are only a few of the many types of fraud out there. Criminals are crafty and part of their job is to come up with new and ingenious scams every day to rob innocent and vulnerable people of their money. Don’t let this be you. Stay up to date by watching the news, reading up on the latest scams on our blog or other resources like Citizens Advice, Take Five and Action Fraud.

If you’re from outside of the UK, we’ve gathered some other useful sites that may be more relevant for you:

Remember: stay vigilant, be skeptical and stay safe!

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Stay safe from fraud

Each year, the UK’s Citizens Advice runs a Scams Awareness Month campaign to inform people of the different scams happening out there, how to stay safe and what to do if you do happen to fall for a fraud scheme.