Wraysbury.com Scam Awareness Campaign
Even if you think you know how to spot a Scam, please read on…
I was taking a Wraysbury resident to hospital last week, lets call him Simon, when in conversation he mentioned his bank had called him the previous day, and been on the phone for two hours… Alarm bells started to ring… They had a suspicious transaction for £200.00, and wanted to confirm it was fraudulent, obviously it was.. They asked him some security questions.., Asked him to verify his card details… His card had obviously been cloned… they would come and collect it, to do some tests… At which point I was being deafened by alarm bells, and furious, and felt helpless… What can we do to help protect those less aware of the scheming, merciless, unscripted depths to which these pariahs will descend?
The answer is obviously education, this particular resident believed he had been careful, he said he had phoned the bank back – but as he has no mobile phone I would assume they kept the line open, so when he called his bank, even using the number on his card, he stayed connected to the scammers, and so the fraud continued and his suspicions receded.
I am also aware of a lady, let’s call her Simone, who was called at 3am by the Police, who were monitoring some suspicious activity, and someone was hacking into her bank account, and she needed to act urgently to move the funds into a safe account…
So we need more education, more safeguards.
I think I know how to act… but so did Simon, he thought by calling the bank himself, he had verified the legitimacy of the original caller.
Even if you think you know how to spot a Scam, please take this awareness test from Take Five.
If you are Scam aware, Please help us to help others. Please Contact Us to help parents, grand-parents, other family, friends, neighbours, especially those less technologically minded. If your score was disappointing, please act on it, and ensure you educate yourself, don’t be embarrassed, most people are less aware than they believe. I certainly didn’t get 100%! Tell your friends, don’t let anyone else fall foul of a fraud that you might help to protect them from.
Please help us to help others. Please Contact Us to help.
Citizens advice have a handy tool to test if something is a scam, and what to do if it is see here.
Over the next few weeks we will put up more Scam Awareness information, please help us spread the word, and if you have constructive ideas for how we might help others, please share your idea with us and join our campaign.
Recognising a scam
It might be a scam if:
- it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect
- someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly
- you suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address
- you’ve been asked to transfer money quickly
- you’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union
- you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs
- you haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed
If you think you’ve paid too much for something
Paying more for something than you think it’s worth isn’t the same as being scammed. Usually, a scam will involve theft or fraud.
You have other rights if you think you’ve overpaid.
If you think you’ve spotted a scam
If you’ve given away money or information because of a scam, there are things you should do. Check what to do if you’ve been scammed.
If you haven’t been scammed but you’ve seen something you think is a scam, you should report it. Find out how to report a scam.
Protecting yourself online
There are things you can do to protect yourself from being scammed online.
Check the signs of fake online shops
You can search for a company’s details on GOV.UK. This will tell you if they’re a registered company or not.
If you’re buying something on a site you haven’t used before, spend a few minutes checking it – start by finding its terms and conditions. The company’s address should have a street name, not just a post office box.
Check to see what people have said about the company. It’s worth looking for reviews on different websites – don’t rely on reviews the company has put on its own website.
Also, don’t rely on seeing a padlock in the address bar of your browser – this doesn’t guarantee you’re buying from a real company.
Don’t click on or download anything you don’t trust
Don’t click on or download anything you don’t trust – for example, if you get an email from a company with a strange email address. Doing this could infect your computer with a virus.
Make sure your antivirus software is up to date to give you more protection.
Be careful about giving personal information away
Some scammers try to get your personal information – for example, the name of your primary school or your National Insurance number. They can use this information to hack your accounts. If you come across sites that ask for this type of information without an obvious reason, check they’re legitimate.
Check if your details have been shared online
Sometimes your log-in details can be made publicly available when a website is hacked. This means that someone could use your details in a scam. Check whether your accounts have been put at risk on Have I Been Pwned.
Make your online accounts secure
Make sure you have a strong password for your email accounts that you don’t use anywhere else. If you’re worried about remembering lots of different passwords, you can use a password manager.
Some websites let you add a second step when you log in to your account – this is known as ‘two-factor authentication’. This makes it harder for scammers to access your accounts.
Please help us to help others. Please Contact Us to help.