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Protect your money Learn to better protect yourself

It only takes a convincing phone call, clever letter or persuasive sales patter to let fraudsters get hold of your cash. Our guide will help alert you to their tricks

Why you need to stay alert

It could be a slick phone call, official-looking letter, convincing email or authoritative text… Fraudsters try to appear as legitimate as possible, so it’s important to be vigilant and stay alert to anything suspicious. Get up to speed with the frauds and scams listed below, and you’ll be better prepared if you find yourself a target. A fraud is a transaction on your account which you didn’t authorise and didn’t make yourself. A scam is where you make – or authorise - a payment from your account to somebody or something you believe is genuine. However, you have been duped instead.

Types of frauds and scams to watch out for

These are among the most common tricks currently used by fraudsters but they constantly come up with new ways to contact you, so be vigilant

Online shopping scam

Fraudsters will advertise goods or services that don’t exist or aren’t theirs to sell – or they’ll try to mimic existing websites in order to appear genuine. Always be vigilant when you shop online. Taking just one precaution alone isn’t guaranteed to keep fraudsters away, so it’s best to take a broad approach and follow as many of our tips as you can.

Purchase'/auction scam

Fraudsters tempt you with ads for cheap goods – often mobile phones, designer clothes and accessories - that don’t exist or aren’t theirs to sell. They’ll often use fake photos or even display other people’s pictures as their own to try and convince you. You pay for the goods but they never arrive, and follow-up calls are never answered. Your money’s gone.

Romance scam

You join a dating website in the hope of finding a partner and meet somebody online who seems very keen on a relationship with you. However, this person starts to exploit your feelings and asks to ‘borrow’ sums of money from you that are never repaid. Months later, you realise you’ve been duped by a scammer only interested in your wallet, and nothing more.

Remote access' scam

A persuasive phone caller takes remote control of your computer after claiming they’ve spotted a problem with it. They convince you to stay on the line while they ‘try to fix the situation’. Instead, they trick you into revealing financial details and steal money from you. It’s also known as a ‘computer takeover’ scam.

Email hack' scam

An email appears to arrive from a firm you’ve hired – a solicitor, conveyancer, builder or supplier, say – and tells you about a change to its own bank account details. However, the fraudster has intercepted or ‘hacked’ your email trail and created a bogus message. When you come to pay, your money goes into the fraudster’s account instead. It’s also known as an ‘invoice scam’.

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