Ten golden rules to prevent fraud
Remember these ten golden rules to help you prevent fraud and beat the scammers.
- Be suspicious of all ‘too good to be true’ offers and deals. There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes.
- Don’t agree to offers or deals immediately. Insist on time to get independent or legal advice before making a decision.
- Don’t hand over money or sign anything until you’ve checked someone’s credentials and their company’s credentials.
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know or trust, whether in the UK or abroad, or use methods of payment you’re not comfortable with.
- Never give banking or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust. This information is valuable so make sure you protect it.
- Always log on to a website directly – rather than clicking on links in an email.
- Don’t just rely on glowing testimonials. Find solid, independent evidence of a company’s success.
- Always get independent or legal advice if an offer involves money, time or commitment.
- If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at the website here Action Fraud. Call Met Police on 101 (London) if you know the suspect or they’re still in the area. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.
- Don’t be embarrassed about reporting a scam. Because the scammers are cunning and clever there’s no shame in being deceived. By reporting it, you’ll make it more difficult for them to deceive others.
You may occasionally receive emails pretending to be from companies such as Amazon, eBay, PayPal or Apple. Do you know how to identify one which is clearly NOT genuine?
Look at the following email which I received and see what you feel is suspect …. (there’s quite a few !)
If you have any doubts about an email, do NOT click on any links, but log onto your account using the supplier’s website – eg. http://www.amazon.co.uk, http://www.ebay.co.uk, http://www.paypal.co.uk or http://www.apple.com with your password to check for any alerts.
eBay has recently had their customer database “hacked” and are writing to all users advising them to change their password IMMEDIATELY as a precaution. They say your PayPal account wasn’t affected as it’s on a different server.
(Note that ebay aren’t alone in this problem, other widely used online services have experienced a similar problem – for example many of my clients use Yahoo mail accounts, provided by BT) and have had their accounts “hacked” and in many cases lost valuable data, because they didn’t have a backup copy of their email and/or contacts.
HOWEVER, if you’ve used your ebay password for other online accounts (which is very common), you should seriously consider changing their passwords too.
Cyberstreetwise recommend – quite rightly – that you …..
If you don’t want to choose a completely separate password – you could consider adding the name of the service (eg. “-ebay” or “-hotmail” or “-PayPal”) to the end of each password ?
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