Fraudsters – Few simple checks to prevent falling for their scams
Fraud & The Fraudster – A few simple checks to make when being approached by an unknown person or company wishing to:
sell to you – buy from you – invest your money – warn you of being under financial attack
Fraud is Predominantly via Post, e-Mail, Social Media & Telephone
The things to look out for:
The name of the company (a company must be an LLP/LTD/PLC)
(e.g A E Supplies Ltd and NOT just A E Supplies which would be a TRADING name)
If they are a COMPANY, check them out on Companies House
Enter the full name of the Company.
Make sure there isn’t one with a very similar name (A E Supplies Ltd v A E Supplies (UK) Ltd
Look at when they were incorporated (eg 10 years ago or a few months ago)
Look at the industry they are in. Is it related to what they are offering you?
Look at the Directors (under People), how long have they been directors
You can go further and enter the name of the directors (Officers) and see if they are directors of any other companies.
If they are NOT a COMPANY, you can use your web browser (Google, Explorer etc), enter the name of the business and the person you think you are communicating with. See if they come up; positively or negatively.
In both the above cases, look at their website, do the names match, do the products match. Do they have references (TRUSTPILOT etc). Has anyone implied that they may be a FRAUD!!
If you receive an email which indicates that it has come from e.g Barclays Bank, (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Don’t open the email, just click on Reply and when your email program pops up, it will have their email address come up in the To. Field. You may find that it is not going to email@example.com but to firstname.lastname@example.org. So, it is attempted fraud and should be deleted completely.
Sadly, the fraudster has moved on and some of the more sophisticated among them have overcome this problem. None-the-less, it will still catch a very large percentage.
Being contacted by Telephone.
There are many frauds, far too many to repeat here.
The simplest answer to any telephonic contact is to say “Please write to me and NOT by email”.
If it sounds truly legitimate (Bank, Utility etc), they will understand your reluctance to speak and will write on paper, in an envelope AND put a stamp on it (probably with their logo from a franking machine and NOT a stamp) (This is another thing to look out for)
If a bank calls and offers you to call them back and they say, hang up, look at your card and call me on the number on the card, DON’T, at least not from the same phone. Use another or if you don’t have one, don’t call for at least 10 minutes.
No major organisation will call you and ask for your ID, PIN etc.
Microsoft will not call you to tell you that your PC/Laptop has been compromised,
HANG UP IMMEDIATELY!!
EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS YOU BY PHONE IS PROBABLY UP TO SOMETHING!!
ANYONE WHO CONTACTS YOU WILL UNDERSTAND YOUR RELUCTANCE TO SPEAK WITH THEM FOR FEAR OF BEING DEFRAUDED
USE YOUR OWN OPTIONS WHEN REPLYING, NOT THEIRS!!
IF THEY CALL YOU, DON’T GIVE OUT ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF, EVEN IF THEY SAY “IT IS FOR YOUR PROTECTION”!!
I hope this information helps to keep you a little bit safer.