Fraud: The latest scams and how to protect yourself.
What is fraud?
Fraud is a criminal deception committed by a person, who acts in a false and deceitful way for financial or personal gain.
Latest fraud scamsThe 2019 Financial cost of fraud report estimates the amount of money that was taken by fraudulent activity in 2019 was between £130 billion - £190 billion.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak we are all even more vulnerable to these scams. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau found that in just one month from February until March, fraudulent activity cost victims over £970,000.
These scams can appear in all types of forms. Some are direct phone calls advising that there have been issues with your bank, others attempt to trick you into opening email attachments or revealing sensitive, personal or financial information.
Although, you may think that it is easy to avoid these scams, it is not. These people are very manipulative, and their processes are well thought out. They can be very convincing which is why many have fallen victim to their tricks.
To find out more about the latest scams, click here.
“I received a call from what appeared to be Lloyds Banks' number. I was already expecting suspicious activity cropping up on my account, so that call didn’t seem out of the blue at the time.
Student Experience of Fraud
They proceeded to know information regarding my account and attempts of transactions (which were fake all except one, which was actually attempted). It should have been a red flag there and then that they suggested moving money to a new account. They told me to transfer the money to "my new account" and gave me the "new" bank details to transfer money into, which I did. Obviously, now looking at it, that account was their own and must have taken the money as soon as it was put into it.”
“They were able to get £4000; it could have a lot more.”
“In the moment it is difficult to differentiate things and with the stress of Covid-19, either having to work from home, furloughed or even out of a job. The fraudsters really take advantage at a time like this even more than usual.
I was overloaded with many assignments that had all drastically changed from practical to written. That along with the distress of life suddenly changing, the concern of loved ones, I was not in the best of head spaces.”
“Absolutely anyone can be a victim of it, I am 21, I know how technology works and aware of scammers, but still fell victim to their extremely clever tactics.”
“This may have been said many times, but whatever you do, be suspicious of any phone calls, emails and texts you receive. ActionFraud constantly keep up to date with the most recent forms of scams.
Hopefully you will realise any red flags before it is too late.”
Fraud preventionThere are many ways you can protect yourself from being victim to these scams. Read our top 4 tips below:
If you receive an email that asks for any personal or financial details, from someone you do not recognise, do not respond to them.
For more information on how to shop online safely, click here.
#3 Educate yourself about the latest scamsDo your research and find out what scams are most prevalent at this time. For example, familiarise yourself with the latest Coronavirus scams. This will help you to spot fraudulent activity quickly.
Click here to keep up to date on the latest scams.
Where to go for support if you have been victim of fraud?Anyone can find themselves the victim of fraud. If you suspect that you may have fallen victim to fraudulent activity or you have information about a possible fraudster, it is very important you report them, so they don’t happen again and to prevent others from becoming victims too.
Firstly, make sure, if debit or credit cards, online banking or cheques are involved you contact your bank first so they can cancel the relevant cards and prevent any further activity taking place.
Second, report the incident of fraud to Actionfraud and use their online fraud reporting tool or contact them on 0300 123 2040.
It can be very upsetting to be victim of fraud, especially if you have lost large quantities of money. Make sure you reach out and get the support you need from Victim Support.
Victim Support is a national charity that helps those who have been affected by crime. They offer free and confidential emotional support and guidance. Their support line is open 24/7 and they also have a live chat service. If you need to talk, there is always support available.
Remember, remain vigilant and if you do become victim to fraud, report it immediately to protect yourself and prevent it from happening to others.
Support from the university:Remember, no one within the University should ask you for your username and password, or for any other sensitive information. If you do receive an email asking for any personal or financial information, it could be a scam. Click here for signs of fraudulent emails, spam and phishing attacks at Herts.
If you have fallen victim to fraud while at University or through your University email address, seek support immediately from the Helpdesk. You can contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can also change your password at any time via https://www.pss.herts.ac.uk/