Spot the Spoof Message To Combat Fraud

Fake emails, calls and text messages are being used to commit fraudulent acts, we raise awareness here.

Nobody thinks they are going to become the victim of fraud and that’s dangerous.  Most people are unsuspecting, they wrongly believe they are too clever to be conned, or too intelligent to be outwitted by criminal gangs, and this is a mistake. 

The sad truth is, no matter how clever you think you are, and no matter what types of steps you take to protect yourself from criminals, they will always think of new, ingenious ways to trick you out of money or goods.

Phone and email scams are prime examples. Own a mobile phone and there’s a genuine chance you’ll be the victim of a fraudulent call one day, this has probably already happened to you, the scams come in many different guises.

Fraudsters run a variety of phone scams, some are simply nuisance calls - others are slightly more sinister, with the sole intention of ripping you off.

Knowing the scams should give a good level of protection.  You can learn about telecom fraud through certified qualification courses, plus these basic facts about phone and email scams could be helpful, at the very least, they’ll raise awareness of popular types of communications swindles.    

Learn More About Phone Fraud Here

Mobile phone fraud takes many guises. Don’t mistake this for nuisance PPI calls, this is something different altogether. PPI calls are annoying and a hassle, in most cases you simply have to deal with a driven sales person at the other end of the line.

Scam calls are different. You get nothing from them whatsoever, and if you’re not careful they could end up costing you hundreds of pounds. 

Common Types of Phone Fraud Involves:

  • Missed Call Scam
  • Recorded Message Fraud
  • Text Message Schemes
  • Subscribe To Us Cons

What’s a Missed Call Scam?

Miss a call from somebody you know and it’s no problem, simply ring them back when you get the chance, at the next available opportunity.  Say you miss a call from an unknown number though? At the very least you are curious, especially if you are waiting to hear some important news, and it’s tempting to ring the number back. In missed call scams the number you dial directs you to a premium rate line and you are charged a small fortune for making the call.

What is Recorded Message Fraud?

Miss a call and your mobile normally has an answer machine facility where people can leave their details, once you’ve listened to them, you can either ring them back or choose to ignore the call. Scammers use this facility to con money out of you. They might leave you a message asking you to call them back on a different number, this could be under the pretext of an emergency, or they might say you have won a prize and you need to call for verification purposes. Either way, once you make that call you are diverted to a premium rate number, which quickly gobbles up tons of cash.

What Are Text Message Schemes?

Ever got a text message from a total stranger that seems friendly and above board? They seem genuine enough, it just seems they have the wrong number, and you either text them back or call them to let them know they have the wrong number. You’re being kind but those texts could be charged at a premium rate and the same goes for any calls you make too.  We cover the subject of text message fraud in greater detail in one of our other blog articles, to learn more about it read Stop Spam Texts Now.

What’s a Subscribe to us Scam?

Certain services encourage you to subscribe to their services, you send a text message for example to a chat site, you get a message back, and you send further texts backwards and forwards. Unbeknown to you all those texts are charged at extortionate rates. More worryingly, you have to pay for the ones you send and the messages you receive, and you only find this out when you receive your monthly usage bill.  

Phone scams are fraudulent. Very quickly you fall into the trap without realising it, and before you know it - you are severely out of pocket! 

What about email fraud though? How do criminals contact you over the web and what types of fraudulent activities do they get up to?  

Email fraud explained

Set up any email account and you have to be vigilant. Fraudsters continually try different methods to trick you, innocent people reply to hoax emails without realising it, and before they know it, they’re in a whole heap of trouble. 

Email scams involve a variety of underhand techniques, set up software protection and most of these scams should be dumped into your junk email folders, where they can rot until they are automatically deleted.

In some instances though, bogus mail will find its way through to your inbox, and this is when you have to be vigilant.

Signs you have bogus emails:

·       Different name is used: Many bogus emails start with ‘dear customer’ or they use the first part of your email username, failing to mention you in person.

·       The email address doesn’t look right: Be wary if emails that supposedly come from your bank or other official site, check the email address is relevant to the right website address.

·       Threats of action: You get an email from website such a PayPal saying your account has been suspended and you need to take immediate action by clicking this link. Don’t do it. Log into the account through the usual methods and contact customer care if you have any concerns.

·       Unprofessional: If the email contains spelling errors, problems with grammar and it generally has an unprofessional feel, alarm bells should be ringing.

·       There are embedded links: You click on unfamiliar emails and they lead you to another bogus website.

·       You are asked for personal or private emails: No business or private individual has the right to ask for personal information from you. If you click on an email and there’s a request for bank details, National Insurance Number or any other sensitive data, stay alert and don’t respond.

Spot spoof phone or email messages in time and you’ll go a long way to combat fraudulent activity.  Should you require training in any aspect of fraud prevention, you can call or email us here at Focus.       

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