Stay safe from these common scams

Author: Huw Jones
Published: 27th April 2020

There’s a been big increase in the number of scams and attempted fraud at the moment. Whilst a crisis brings out the best in most people, there are those who look to exploit the situation for their own gain. Here is some sage advice from the “challenger bank” Monzo on how to stay safe from these common scams…

Three Top tips from Monzo

Double check the identity of who you’re paying

Fraudsters may contact you pretending to be your bank, HMRC, the police or a utilities company, asking you to transfer money or give them information. If you get an unexpected message or call like this, hang up [seroisly just hang up – Huw]. Google the organisation’s official number and call them directly. (We’ll never call you without arranging it first!)

[No reputable company will call you unannouced and ask for bank details or information – just hang up. No need for an explanation or polite niceties. Put the phone down – Huw.]

Fraudsters will tell you there’s a problem with your account, or threaten legal action if you don’t pay fast. They’re professionals and can sound very convincing. Fraudsters can also fake phone numbers and make their emails look legitimate, so always contact companies directly to check.

Don’t rush into a payment

An organisation you trust will never pressure you into making a payment or taking out a loan, especially over the phone. If someone’s doing that, they’re almost certainly a fraudster.

If you’re not sure, speak to a friend or family member, or chat to us. Fraudsters will try to rush you by threatening ‘legal action’, or telling you that your account is ‘at risk’.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

If you’re being offered something very cheaply over social media, it’s probably a scam. Buy from a trusted merchant where you can check verified reviews, and where you can pay by card.

Similarly, legitimate investments don’t happen over social media, and will never guarantee profits. Check if a company’s registered with the FCA before investing.

Like a lot of banks, we’re also seeing more coronavirus scams, like fake texts from HMRC offering money as a ‘goodwill payment’, or from the government offering ‘tax relief’. These are scams, so always check official sites before clicking on any links!

Share this with your friends and family so they can stay safe.