November 2021 -
Criminals are constantly finding new and unique ways to steal your data and money. Here, we focus on online shopping scams and frauds involving cryptocurrency.
Can you spot an online purchase scam?
Last year, online payment fraud* doubled in the weeks leading up to Black Friday.
This year, Black Friday falls on 26 November with Cyber Monday on 29 November, however, discounts are increasingly offered throughout the month.
Being able to identify potential online scams is vital, not just for this period but at any time, particularly in the run up to Christmas. Many ‘deals’ may not be what they seem, so to ensure your festive season shopping is done safely and securely:
*Financial Times, Online fraud surges ahead of Black Friday, 26 November 2020.
Planning to invest in cryptocurrency?
Are you prepared to lose all your money?
Criminals can use a variety of methods to gain access to your online banking or to persuade you to transfer money to their account. They may pretend to be a legitimate organisation such as your bank, the police, or an energy or internet service provider. They may contact you out-of-the-blue by telephone or by email.
Our last newsletter highlighted the increasing reports of fraud scams linked to cryptocurrency investments. We recognise these can be legitimate investments, but are you fully aware of the risks?
There is no such thing as a guaranteed return. The market can be extremely volatile. As an example, Bitcoin has seen huge swings both up and down so far this year.
Cryptocurrency is regulated in the UK mostly for anti-money laundering purposes only. You are unlikely to be protected even if the cryptocurrency exchange is regulated by the FCA. If things go wrong, you are unlikely to have access to services such as the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Cryptoassets can provide benefits for users. However, the lack of regulation and central controls also means there are large numbers of unscrupulous traders, scams, and criminals operating in the sector. Pressure selling, adverts which overstate returns or understate risks, celebrity endorsements, and traders who offer to set up your crypto wallet are all signs of a scam.
- Do your research. Visit the FCA website www.fca.org.uk and search for 'cryptoassets’ for further information.
- Be alert to fake cryptocurrency investment adverts, apps, and websites designed to steal your data or cash.
- If you do invest, make sure that you have sole control of your crypto wallet.
Other common scams observed in 2021
This is when criminals pose as a regular supplier and persuade you to change the bank details you hold on file. Make sure you verbally confirm account information with new payees, or where account details are changed.
This refers to the manipulation of people into providing their personal data and security information. Your bank, the police, telephone, or internet provider will never ask you to provide a one-time passcode over the phone or to transfer your money into a ‘safe account.’ Do not allow strangers remote access to your computer unless you are 100% sure they are authorised.
This happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity and use those details to commit fraud. Make sure you keep your security and account information safe. Dispose of sensitive documents carefully (e.g. use a shredder). Did you know that you can check if your email or phone number has been subject to a data breach at https://haveibeenpwned.com/?
Always take a moment to think before handing over your personal/security information or cash. If you are being put under pressure, it is likely to be a scam. Call us on +44 (0)20 7012 2900 at any time if you think you may have fallen victim to a scam.
On 15 October this year, the value for an individual contactless card payment increased from £45 to £100, and the cumulative spending amount before a PIN is required increased from £130 to £300. This means that if a criminal steals your card, they can spend up to £300 without needing to enter a PIN. Take steps to ensure you keep your cards safe and always stay alert to your surroundings. If your card is lost or stolen, you or any other cardholder must notify us immediately.
Becoming a client
Take control of your finances today by completing our enquiry form. Alternatively, you can call us on the number below and one of our team will be more than happy to talk about your future.