Stop! Think Fraud.

  • 12 February 2024
  • 5 replies
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Stop! Think Fraud.
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Fraud is the crime most likely to affect British adults – and anyone can fall victim to it. In fact, it now accounts for 41% of all crime. 

iD Mobile is supporting the UK Government’s National Campaign Against Fraud, and to help tackle fraud, the government has just introduced a national Stop! Think Fraud campaign packed with useful tips to keep you safe. We’ve rounded up the most important information below. Have a careful read, and make sure you’re doing everything mentioned. That way, you’ll keep yourself protected from fraud and scammers as much as possible.

Protect your data and devices

It’s important that you protect the personal data and information on your phone, laptop and other devices. Here are three top tips to help you do just that.

1. Use a strong password for your email.

Your emails contain a lot of information about you that criminals can use to scam you or people you know. So, it’s crucial you use a strong password for your email account that you don’t use for anything else.
Your email inbox can also act as a ‘gateway’ to your other accounts. Once a fraudster can access it, they could use the ‘forgot password’ option to request emails enabling them to get into other accounts, such as your social media.
Use a combination of 3 random words to create a password long and strong enough. Avoid words that can be guessed, like your pet’s name or birth month. Adding numbers and symbols is a good way to make your password even harder to guess.

2. Use 2-step verification where possible, to protect your email account.

2-step verification (sometimes called 2SV) helps to keep criminals out of your important accounts, such as your email and social media - even if they have your passwords.
It works by sending a code or PIN to a device only you have access to, such as your phone. Typing in this code or PIN helps to prove your identity.
You’ll usually only be asked to do this when you sign in using a new device or change settings, such as your password.
So if you’re asked if you’d like to set up 2-step verification, always do so – you’ll be making life twice as hard for criminals!

3. Use your browser’s password manager.

If your web browser offers to save your password when you’re logging in or creating an account, always do this. These ‘password managers’ will help you create and store strong, different passwords for all your different accounts. They’re easy to use, hard to crack and will save you from having to memorise your passwords.

Know the warning signs of fraud

Criminals are great pretenders. They might contact you pretending to be a trusted person or company. Millions of people are targeted by scam messages or phone calls like this every year.

So, if something seems suspicious or unexpected, such as requests for money or information, contact the organisation directly to check. Use contact details from their official website - not those given in the message.

Report suspicious or ‘phishing’ emails

Phishing is when someone sends you a message to try to trick you into revealing personal information. Criminals often send phishing emails to get you to click a link and visit a website. In 2021, 80% of British adults remembered receiving a fraudulent text or email.

If you click a link, it could enable the fraudster to download a virus onto your computer. Or it could send you to a cloned website where criminals can steal bank details or other personal information.

By reporting phishing emails, you can help to stop criminal activity and prevent other people from falling victim. So, before you delete suspicious emails, forward them to: report@phishing.gov.uk

Report spam texts or calls

Criminals sometimes send texts asking you to click a link so that they can attempt to steal your money or personal information. They might also call and try to trick you over the phone.

Reporting scam texts and calls will help your provider find out where the calls or texts came from and can help get the senders blocked or banned.

To report a scam text, forward it to 7726 and then send the sender’s number when prompted.

To report a scam call, simply text 7726 with the word ‘Call’ followed by the scam caller’s number.

Suspicious ads? Report them too!

Don’t fall victim to scam advertising campaigns. If you see a suspicious ad – such as one that includes fake celebrity news or clearly false claims about products – report it to the Advertising Standards Authority by searching ‘ASA scam report’.

If you’ve been a victim of fraud, take action immediately

It’s easy to report fraud or cyber-crime – and it’s important to do so.

You should report it to your bank as soon as possible. This enables your bank to investigate and take action to protect your account.

Contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. Reporting fraud means it will be passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate and help to prevent other people falling victim.

In Scotland, report fraud directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

Over to you…

When it comes to preventing fraud, there’s real power in communities like ours. So please comment below if you’ve got any other good tips to help prevent fraud and stop scammers. We’d love to hear your suggestions.


5 replies

Userlevel 1

It's really great when you get an email like this it can help people who are very vulnerable to online crime even people who think they can't be misled sometimes our victims of crime also so any information is good.

Generally you shouldn’t click links in your email (mentioned in this article). And this was emailed out to people via a link to click. Not ideal! Companies (including banks) could do much better by practicing what they preach when it comes to educating the less informed about how to protect themselves online.

Generally you shouldn’t click links in your email (mentioned in this article). And this was emailed out to people via a link to click. Not ideal! Companies (including banks) could do much better by practicing what they preach when it comes to educating the less informed about how to protect themselves online.

So why did you click the link?

Possibly because they shared digits from your account and phone number, showing the email was very likely to be genuine. And, it led to an information page requesting no personal details.

Rather than simply criticise, what would you have done differently?

Generally you shouldn’t click links in your email (mentioned in this article). And this was emailed out to people via a link to click. Not ideal! Companies (including banks) could do much better by practicing what they preach when it comes to educating the less informed about how to protect themselves online.

So why did you click the link?

Possibly because they shared digits from your account and phone number, showing the email was very likely to be genuine. And, it led to an information page requesting no personal details.

Rather than simply criticise, what would you have done differently?

TLDR - my last paragraph.

Thank you for asking me for more information. (The reason I didn’t include everything originally is because it would take longer. Well here’s some extra info - and yes I am still omitting some of my life experience so that it’s not even longer)

I didn’t click the link - I found the page via searching for it on Google (after seeing the email) which is generally safer than clicking links in email (albeit slightly complicated to explain what is and isn’t safe to click on in a Google search - basically don’t click on ads or anything deep into the search results without extra checks).

I’m (above average) aware of online safety and this article provides some very good information. Anyone who is not confident (and some who are) about protecting themselves online should read this article. It’s a great start! I’m not criticising the article but the fact they sent it via a massive “click this big blue link”. That is the kind of conditioning that helps the scammers trick the most vulnerable. I would simply have sent this info by email and not send the traffic to this page (is there a financial motive to sending us here?). They alternatively could have advised people to come to our website to see our new “Stop! Think Fraud.” article (a less good option imo).

They did provide extra (albeit small and not the most visible part of the email) account information to provide those in the know that it’s much more likely to be genuine. But this article is not targeting experts (I would not call myself one, btw) and therefore targeted at people who may not know to double check before clicking on email links (“maybe it’s not from who you think it is”). I did specifically say it is GENERALLY not advised (I’m emphasising the word - not shouting). And when they super easily could have given this info in the email instead of via a link - I facepalm.

Finally, my only other point was that many companies employ bad practice which helps the fraudsters. Once (only once), my bank called me (unsolicited) for a survey and asked for my date of birth to confirm it was really me. That’s just awful practice - that’ll make people think that it’s normal to give out these details to random callers. When they set up the system, they were not giving enough thought to “what if fraudsters use this against our customers”?

I hope this extra info helps clear up my view on the article (it’s good!) and the point I was trying to make about companies encouraging online safety (think from the point of view of a scammer and how they will take advantage of our practices).

Nice reply - I think we are on the same side :)

Agreed - they could have put the information in the email.

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