Tips for fighting fraud at home

This year's Scams Awareness campaign was hosted by Citizen’s Advice and they are focusing on raising awareness of the scams that have emerged as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Scams can be difficult to recognise, but there are things you can look out for. Recently, these are the most recent scams to look out for:

  • advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices
  • emails or texts pretending to be from the government
  • emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
  • people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity

In this article, we share some tips and advice on how to protect yourself against scams. If you are a loved one is worried that you might be a victim of a scam, make sure to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40 or www.actionfraud.police.uk

Tips

Use the rule of thumb: A simple rule of thumb is to “never provide information in a phone call that you did not initiate” – this includes personal information or agreeing to give money over the phone.

Protect your financial and personal information: Never give your personal or bank account details to someone you don't know. Keep important personal documents, plastic cards and chequebooks in a safe and secure place, and never email your financial information, even if you know the person you are emailing. If you're sending personal information online, make sure the website address starts https, not http.

Create tricky passwords: Longer passwords with a mix of letters and digits are hard to guess. Change passwords regularly and don't share them with anyone.

Get rid of important documents: Shred documents that could be useful to criminals, including bank statements, credit card statements and other financial information. Important documents such as tax returns and car documentation should be stored in a safe place, out of sight.

Watch out for scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Neighbourhood Alert Service: Some areas may operate a Neighbourhood Alert Service, which is used by police and Trading Standards to circulate messages about doorstep crime and scams. Register for free at www.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk

Shopping online: If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely

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