Stop the fraudsters

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The FFA (Financial Fraud Action) stated that impersonation and deception scams, as well as online attacks to compromise data, continued to be the primary drivers behind financial fraud losses in 2016. In all of these methods, criminals target personal and financial information, including card data, which is then used to facilitate fraud.
What to look out for

Common tactics used by fraudsters include:

• Offering lucrative returns above the market rate and downplaying the risks of the investment
• Using flattery to make potential victims feel good, such as praising them for being a knowledgeable investor
• Saying the deal is only available to the target and asking them to keep it a secret
• Saying that other clients have invested or want in on the deal (known as ‘social proof’)
• Putting them under pressure to invest in a time-limited offer

Lines of Defence

• Do not do your banking in public places and definitely not on public wifi (establishing bogus public wifi 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 your identity.

The FCA is urging consumers to be skeptical and cautious before they invest their money. If someone invests their money with an unauthorised firm, they will have no protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.

For Investments:

• Reject unsolicited contact about investments
• Before investing, check the Financial Services Register to see of 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

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