Fraud is the most commonly experienced crime in the UK costing us billions of pounds every year. The impact of fraud can be devastating both emotionally and financially – ranging from personal losses to devastating consequences for businesses.
We want to ensure you are equipped with the tools to be able to recognise a fraudulent crime when it is happening and that you are able to protect yourself and/or your business from becoming a victim of fraud.
Fraud is an ever-evolving crime that takes many shapes and forms. Fraudsters are often clever individuals who are good at their jobs and constantly finding new ways to target their victims.
Some of the current, most popular types of fraud include online shopping fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, romance fraud, courier fraud, and banking fraud.
Fraudsters often target elderly and vulnerable people, for whom the consequences may be devastating – emotionally and financially.
Fraudsters are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They can contact you by phone, email, text, on social media, or in person.
With a few simple tips and security measures, it is easy to keep yourself and/or your business safe from becoming a victim.
Our top tips for individuals to keep themselves safe from fraud:
Stop: Taking a moment to think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse, or ignore any requests. It’s also ok to take some time to check out those requests – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen victim to a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
Always remember: The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.
Confirm requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly.
Our top tips for businesses to keep themselves safe from fraud:
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They will spend hours researching your business, hoping you will let your guard down for just a moment.
Stop: If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details, or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
Challenge: Could it be fake? Verify all payments and supplier details directly with the company on a known phone number or in person first.
Protect: Contact your business’s bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.
Keeping your business secure online:
Criminals will try and gain access to your device or network, and everything stored on it. They can do this by: sending emails with malicious attachments, exploiting vulnerabilities in your operating systems if they are not up-to-date, trying to get you to click links or visit malicious websites.
Once they have access to your device and your data, they may try to steal your data or extract money from you by getting you to pay a ransom. There are a number of steps you can take to protect your device and operating systems and educate others on your network. Please visit the NCSC website to find out more.
For more information about different types of fraud, and further details about how you can keep yourself safe from becoming a victim of fraud please read our Little Book of Big Scams ‘guide book’.
Posted on Wednesday 27th May 2020