Many of us are already aware of the dangers of scam.
But you may know somebody who is perhaps less alert to the dangers. And the scammers are getting smarter.
We used to be able to recognise scam emails because of their poor English.
But now scammers often try to trick you to visit a website which is a very convincing imitation of a bank or utility company’s website.
How do scams arrive?
They may come by email or text message, by post or telephone, or a pop-up window while you’re browsing the internet, or a cold caller at the door.
How to spot a scam
It might be an unexpected message, an offer that seems too good to be true, or the promise of a refund.
It could also be a request to confirm your logon credentials, or an offer to fix a computer problem that you didn’t know you had.
How to handle suspect emails or texts
- Don’t send off any money.
- Never reply.
- Don’t download or open any attachments.
- Never click on links: type the address of your bank or other supplier into the address field of your browser.
- Check phone numbers against published details for an organisation.
- Don’t allow anyone remote access to your computer, unless you initiated the support call to a number you know to be trustworthy.
Reputable companies such as Microsoft do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer!
recent warnings include fake:
- TV Licencing refund emails,
- Netflix emails,
- Argos texts,
- British Gas refund emails,
- Amazon emails,
- texts about your EE bill,
- ‘user has shared file with you’ Dropbox emails,
- Santander and NatWest text messages,
- a car leasing social media scam.
For more information:
- Scams: www.hants.gov.uk/business/tradingstandards/consumeradvice/scams
- Latest fraud alerts: www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/pages/2996/1/Home.html
- Royal Mail Scam Mail Helpline: 0800 0113 466
- What is scam mail and how you can report it to us – Royal Mail
- Advice about staying secure online: www.cyberaware.gov.uk
- SafeFromScams.co.uk – advice about staying safe from scams
- Who called me? https://who-called.co.uk/ – one of several sites which help identify phone numbers used by scammers.
Reprinted, with minor amendments, from an article in the October 2018 issue of Compton & Shawford Parish Magazine