Be Aware: Financial Fraud can be devastating for those targeted and, more often than not, it’s the most vulnerable at risk !
Credit cards have changed the way we live, making money easily accessible and improving our lifestyles, but alongside this is the growing problem of bank fraud, often with devastating consequences for the innocent victims that fall prey to these crimes.
The most concerning types of fraud which the police are keen to highlight, are currently being used to target the elderly and most vulnerable, are listed below:
The Delivery Thief: This tactic relies on the simple joy of receiving an unexpected gift at home. The fraudster will deliver a gift to a home address and ask for a signature. This all seems very innocent and plausible to the victim, who will then be asked to pay a small delivery charge. The fraudster will also state it is company policy to only accept a card by means of payment, as they do not handle cash. The fraudster then has your credit card details and signature. They will then be able to quickly clone your card and withdraw money from your account. This scam is more likely to be used around Christmas time, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and even your Birthday.
The Telephone Scam: A large loss of money can be very alarming and scary. When people are scared they become vulnerable and easy victims to the practised telephone scammer. Typically, a fraudster will ring a victim claiming to be from the police, asking if they have made a large payment. The victim will obviously say “no” and is understandably very worried at this point. The ‘Police Officer’ will give the victim a unique code to write down and they then tell the victim to call the number on the back of the card immediately to report it to their bank. What the victim doesn’t realise is that the caller does not hang up the phone. The victim is often in a state of panic and unable to pick up on anything that may seem suspicious. Once the victim has handed over their details they may find their account has been completely emptied. If you receive any calls of this nature, make sure the call is ended. If you can, use another number to call your bank, like a mobile phone or a different landline.
The Cash Machine Scam: There are several cash machine scams being used by criminals and they all involve distraction techniques. They are often performed in pairs by fraudsters, in cleverly rehearsed routines. If you ever feel uncomfortable using an ATM cash dispenser walk away and find another one. If you lose your bank card for any reason, report this to your bank immediately.
These types of crimes often have awful consequences for the people targeted and can cost them thousands of pounds and much distress. To protect yourself and others:
1. Be aware of common scams and the warning signs.
2. Keep personal information confidential.
3. Change your passwords and PIN’s.
4. Shred unneeded documents.
5. Watch out for unusual transactions and check your bank statements regularly.
6. Never ever give out your personal information.
7. Report it ! If you are suspicious of anything that seems fake, report it to your bank or the police.