Take Five To Stop FraudPosted on Dec 03, 2022
One in eight shoppers plan to take out a loan to fund Christmas this year. Sadly, criminals are using the festive period to target people, leaving them vulnerable. The Financial Conduct Authority has warned of a sharp rise in criminal acts and fraud over the Christmas Period. It more important than ever to stay alert and watch out for anything unusual.
Take Five to Stop Fraud is a national campaign that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception, phone-based scams and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.
Always Take Five – Stop, Challenge and Protect
STOP – Taking a moment to stop and 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. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT – Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.
Avoid online scams & stay safe online
Here we have some great tips & advice on how you can avoid online scams and stay safe online.
How do you know that emails you receive are genuine? Here’s a few points to consider when opening items that land in your Inbox:
- Check emails for spelling mistakes and poor grammar – a good indicator that the person writing them may not be who they claim to be.
- Does the email ask you to click onto a link? Why? Do you need to click on that link?
- Roll your cursor over the sender’s name (without clicking) to display the address that it was sent from. If it looks unusual or unofficial it may very well be a fraudulent email.
- If you are in any doubt – delete suspect emails & do not click on links or attachments in any suspicious email.
- Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
Be cautious when visiting websites. Here are quick ways to research a site before making a purchase:
- Check for the padlock symbol next to the web address (URL) at the top of the screen.
- Clicking on the padlock will display the security information for that site. Try clicking on the padlock at the top of this Penny Post page now, so see the ‘Connection is secure’ information.
- The web address itself should also start with ‘https’ to indicate a secure site.
- For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit ActionFraud.
Protect your devices
Are all your devices protected? You may access the internet using a variety of devices – laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones – but have you got them all covered?
- Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. For information on how to update your devices, visit the National Cyber Security Centre.
- Installing anti-virus software across all your devices will help protect you wherever and whenever you are shopping online. This software checks for programmes and viruses designed to snoop on you browsing, disable your device or even steal sensitive data such as account details and passwords. For more information read the Which guide for choosing antivirus software.
- Ensure that your internet browser (eg Google Chrome, Firefox) is up to date by installing the most recent security updates.
- The National Cyber Security Centre has information for individuals and families on keeping ourselves ‘cyber secure’.
What we do to help keep you safe
It’s important for you and your family protect yourselves from fraud and scams including when speaking to the Penny Post team. Remember –
- When we speak to you, we will always ask you 2 questions to confirm your identity.
- On occasions when we’re working remotely, our usual caller ID may not be displayed on your phone. If you are unsure, feel free to call us on our usual customer services number, 0333 332 1461.
- We will ask you to confirm the last 3 digits of your bank account when making telephone transfers/withdrawals, but for security reasons, we will NEVER take or ask for full bank details over the phone.
- Penny Post will never email you asking for your passwords – no reputational company should ever ask for passwords.
Be aware, take care and remember to Take Five to Stop Fraud.