Martin Lewis shares tips for checking scams
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Lloyds Bank is determined to keep its customers, and other Britons, safe, and has warned of a dangerous scam which has recently been circulating. The bank has observed a rise in computer takeover scams, saying individuals will need to be on their guard this summer. A scam of this kind can usually occur when the victim receives a phone call, often from out of the blue.
Fraudsters will pretend to be from a trusted company, and could offer help with a supposed fault or problem, or offer a refund.
However, in order to do this, they will tell individuals they need ‘remote control’ over their device.
Britons will then be prompted to log on to their online bank account to process a refund or to fix the issue.
But it is at this point that the cybercriminals could take control of a person’s online bank account without them knowing.
In many of these calls, savers will be told to input a code into an automated bank call for the ‘refund’ to be processed.
However, this code actually has nothing to do with a refund, and instead is to approve a payment to someone new that the fraudster has set up on the bank account.
It provides the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to make off with a person’s hard-earned cash.
Lloyds Bank has warned that attempts at this type of fraud have more than doubled over the last year, a matter of concern.
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One form of this scam which is resurging uses the name of Amazon as a front to lull Britons into a false sense of security.
As a result, individuals must remain alert to the threats, and take steps to protect themselves.
Philip Robinson, Retail Fraud Prevention Director at Lloyds Bank, commented on the issue.
He said: “Organised criminal gangs are forever inventing new ways to dupe unsuspecting victims out of their money.
“But they’re always ready to re-use tactics that have worked for them before, hoping people have forgotten previous warnings.
“Fortunately, we are able to stop many of these scammers in their tracks with sophisticated monitoring of our customers’ online banking accounts.
“But sadly, the fraudsters only need to be successful once to make off with thousands of pounds of someone’s hard-earned cash, which can leave a devastating impact.
“That’s why we want people to stay alert to the threat of this scam. Be wary of any messages you receive which you weren’t expecting, and don’t click on links in emails or texts.
“If you receive a phone call out of the blue, never download software or make a payment because someone asks you to, even if it seems they already know all about you and are trying to help.
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“Always hang up and report it to your bank immediately.”
To avoid this scam, and others like it, there are a series of steps Britons should take, with these considerations potentially saving them heartache, stress, and of course, money.
Firstly, with emails and texts, individuals should never click on a link, unless they know and trust the sender.
With calls, a similar approach should be taken, with people putting the phone down if they are unsure of who is calling.
And they should always use a number they trust, rather than one a caller uses or may give them.
Often Britons may be prompted to download software, but this should never be done out of instruction from an out of the blue phone call.
Individuals are encouraged to never share any of their personal or banking details, keeping their information private.
And finally, in order to protect one’s account, a person should never log on to their online banking for someone who calls.
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