Identity fraud and investment fraud are on the rise and the tactics of fraudsters continue to evolve at an alarming rate.
Some simple security procedures you can follow include:
- Do not do your banking in public places and definitely not on public Wi-Fi (establishing bogus public Wi-Fi hotspots is a way for criminals to access devices and information)
- Never respond to unprompted banking messages unless you are absolutely certain the request is genuine
- Be very aware of the domain names used and the security signs visible in a browser. Make sure you log on to a banking website at a web address you know, not via a link
- Never provide any banking details to a third party you do not know or are unsure about (in part or as a whole)
- Avoid unnecessarily sharing details such as your name, address and date of birth as fraudsters can exploit this information and steal you identity
Furthermore, be sceptical and cautious before you invest your money. If you invest your money with an unauthorised firm, you will have no protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.
Be alert to the following warning signs:-
- being contacted out of the blue
- promises of low risk and/or guaranteed above market returns
- special deals just for you
- time pressures and…
- Reject unsolicited contact about investments
- Before investing, check the Financial Services Register to see if the firm or individual you are dealing with is authorised, and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid
- Get impartial advice before investing