What You Need to Know About Card Scams

A card scam occurs when criminals deceive you into using your bank card to make a payment under false pretences. They can be quite intricate, but if you’re caught off guard, they can be catastrophic.

Online scammers took advantage of the pandemic in 2020, defrauding UK consumers out of a record £479 million by sending false texts regarding Covid-19 vaccines, lockdown fines, missing parcel deliveries, and most importantly credit card scams.

Alternatively, they might try scare tactics. They may for example claim to be from the tax authorities and try to panic you by telling you that you are being investigated for tax fraud, or even that a warrant for your arrest is waiting. Read HMRC’s phishing email guide which explains how to distinguish a scam attempt from genuine contact.

There are common methods that fraudsters use and it’s good to be aware of them. Such methods are:

False Impersonation

When a fraudster manipulates you into making a card payment only by talking to you, this is known as impersonation and social engineering. Fraudsters may urge you to provide your card information, share a code that was delivered to you via text message, or authorise anything on your banking app during a phone call. Fraudsters may claim to be from your bank or the Royal Mail, and that your account is in jeopardy. In order to protect the account or verify your identification, they may require you to give personal information or approve a payment.

You Are Asked to Keep Details of the Call Secret

Asking you to keep quiet is a way to keep you away from the advice and support you need in making a decision.

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Legitimate organisations never make spelling or grammatical mistakes in their emails because they’ve been put together by professionals and checked before they’re sent. Emails or messages with mistakes are certainly a scam.

Investment Scams

Investment scams accounted for the majority of sanctioned fraud losses, with more than £135 million lost to increasingly complex deceptions employing cloned investment provider and private bank websites. According to UK Finance, bitcoin scams were more common last year, with some victims being persuaded to hand over more money after receiving a “return” on their initial investment.

How to Protect Yourself from Card Scams

It’s always great to know what type of scams are out there, but it absolutely helps to know how to protect yourself from these scams and not fall into these traps. Fund Ourselves recommends the following:

Phishing sites, which impersonate reputable firms, are frequently used by fraudsters to get personal information. They’ll then utilise this information to create confidence through targeted schemes.

Verify Websites, Email Addresses and Phone Numbers

Always check the information you receive from other people and make sure they are secure lines of communication whether it is online or via phone.

Ask Questions

Fraudsters may have some information about you, but this doesn’t mean they’re legitimate or that they know more than what they have.

Understand the Process

Companies that you deal with and trust are always doing their best to not make you panic. On the other hand, fraudsters will frequently try to intimidate you into making payments or disclosing personal information by threatening your account or threatening you with arrest if you don’t cooperate.

Too Good to Be True? It Probably Is

Fraudsters and scammers will always raise the stakes as high as they could to lure people into their traps. You might be pulled into a ‘great deal that will change your life’, but it usually has very high risk or significant loss in returns.

With fraud losses on the rise, it pays to stay alert in order to protect your money and assets. But if you do get hit, reporting it will at least ensure the authorities gain a clearer picture of fraud patterns up and down the UK.

if you feel like you might have been the victim of fraud – whether because you’ve given details over the phone or clicked a link and provided sensitive details – there are things you can do. Contact your bank if you think you may have given out financial information, change your account password and contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

While we strongly advise you not to accept this as financial advice, we hope that it will offer you an opportunity gain a new perspective to understand and manage your finances better. This article is not in any way related to any of the Fund Ourselves products.

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