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GCVS Blog

 

Project Team

Tackling Fraud Together

 

In 2016, around £193bn was lost to fraud in the UK alone – £6,000 per second! £9.7bn of that amount was lost to individuals and the rest to businesses, proving that fraud can – and does – happen to anyone.

This month was *Scam Awareness Month* and the Tackling Fraud Together team have been sharing some of our tips when it comes to avoiding different types of fraud over on our *Twitter page*. You can also see what other organisations have been sharing through #scamaware – you can find a lot of helpful advice on there!

Here are some of our top tips to help you stay safe and recognise scams!


Email

  • Does the email start with your name or “Dear User/Customer”? – if it’s the latter, it may be a scam!
  • Look out for incorrect spelling/grammar and badly used logos – is the logo compressed/stretched in any way?
    • Most bonafide organisations will make sure to use their logo(s) properly!
  • Double-check the URL/email address of the sender to make sure it has come from a legitimate source and where it says it’s come from!

More great advice on email fraud from Which? here.

 

Online Shopping

  • Make sure the site you’re visiting is real/secure – check for the padlock in your Address Bar!
  • Don’t store your card/payment details with any online stores
  • If you’re not sure, don’t buy from them!

Additionally, if you’ve ever used Facebook to shop, make sure your PayPal account is not still linked – people have reported extra payments being taken without their knowledge!

 

Telephone/SMS

  • Your bank would never call you up to ask for your bank details – they already know them!
  • If you sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) any calls you get outwith people you have already been in contact will most likely be cold-callers/scammers – genuine organisations respect the TPS.
    • 0845 070 0707 is the number to call to register!
  • And remember, you can always hang up! Cold callers will phone a lot of people every day and it’s their job, so don’t feel like you have to give in to what they’re asking for.

Fraudsters also target people by SMS, which is known as “smishing” – here’s an example of what to look out for! (via Halifax.)

 

Pension Fraud

Pension Fraud has been on the rise in recent times – that is, when someone tries to scam you out of your pension by encouraging you to access it early. What these scammers won’t tell you though is the additional cost, often you can face tax of up to 55% or additional fees for accessing your pension before the age of 55!

The government’s Pension Wise page has some really useful information around Pension Fraud.

 

Postal Fraud

  • Don’t respond to any suspicious mail, such as letters asking for money in return for a “prize”!
  • Keep your mail safe, especially if you have a communal postbox
    • Where possible, make sure that you are the only one who can access it

You can report any Postal Fraud to Royal Mail, find out more here!

 

Doorstep Fraud

  • Ask to see official ID – if they’re genuine, they won’t mind
  • Request a ‘cooling off’ period to make your decision
  • Ask for their contact details
    • Scammers are usually difficult to get in contact with
  • You can always shut the door if someone is being too pushy!

Age UK have a great article on the common methods used in Doorstep Fraud.

 

The best advice of all is – if you’re not sure, don’t give out your information or hand over any money!

 

If you suspect fraudulent activity or you would like to report fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting tool.

 

Our Tackling Fraud Together project, which we’re delivering on behalf of Experian and Outreach Solutions is running until the end of September 2017.

If you would like the team to give a presentation/talk, run an information stall at an event or you would just like further details,
email us: fraudawareness@gcvs.org.uk or call 0141 332 2444!

 

 


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