One of the most valuable tools to protect yourself from fraud is understanding how fraudsters might contact you, and what they'll do to get their hands on your information. Whether it's by email or social media, knowing the signs to look out for can keep you and your agreement safe.
Email fraud (phishing)
If an email looks remotely suspicious, don’t open it. It’s easy to click on email that you don’t recognise and be hooked by its content, but things may not be what they seem. Email fraud is commonly known as ‘phishing’. You’ll receive what looks like a genuine email from a company asking you to click on a link, download an attachment or claim you’re owed money. These are all techniques that helps fraudsters access your personal details.
Don't get hooked
- Be wary of subject lines claiming your “account has been suspended” or your account has an “unauthorised login attempt”
- Don’t click on any links or open attachments from an unsolicited email. This could allow fraudsters to access your information or release a virus on your device
- Look out for bad grammar and spelling errors. Check for misspelling in website links if it’s supposedly going to a reputable company site
- If the email is from a reputable company you use, or even a friend or family member, always contact them first to make sure it’s really them
Voice call fraud (vishing)
Vishing is the telephone version of phishing. These are phone calls from fraudsters (pretending to be your finance company or bank) who will encourage you to give out personal details. They may already have some of your personal information such as your name, address, or phone number to make it seem more believable. These calls will often seem urgent to encourage you to act as quickly as possible; giving you minimal time to think about whether the call is fraudulent.
Avoid becoming a victim
- If the call is suspicious, don’t give out any information! Hang up and call the organisation back on a number provided on their website
- Never give out your personal details (such as your PIN or password) over the phone, even to a caller claiming to be from your bank or the police
- If you’re asked to download software to connect to your computer out of the blue, don’t do it
- If you accidentally share your details, call your bank/finance company immediately using a different phone to the one they called you on. Vishing fraudsters can intercept your outgoing calls so could pretend to be your bank when you try to report them
Social media fraud
Fraudsters will often impersonate companies on social media to gain personal information including your name, DOB, address and name of your bank. They may even use this to put the pieces of your identity together to apply for financial services or products in your name. Please note that we would never ask for your agreement information over social media.
- Check the settings on your social media accounts
- Check the T&Cs for any apps you download, so you know how they'll access your information
- Be wary of links sent from friends' or business accounts
- Regularly change your password and make sure it isn’t something obvious that a fraudster could guess
- Choose a username which doesn’t include too much personal information.
Text fraud (smishing)
Smishing is when a fraudster sends a text message pretending to be from your bank or finance company to say there’s a problem, asking you for sensitive information to try and trick you into giving away your personal and security information. Typically, you’ll receive a text that you weren’t expecting containing a website link, asking you to click through or call a number which you don’t recognise.
Keeping fraud savvy
- Don’t click on any of the links in the text. Call your bank or finance company on a number published on their own website to make sure that the text is genuine
- If you’ve clicked on the link by mistake, it’s advised to run a scan with your antivirus software to check for any malicious software