This blog is slightly different from our usual content – in fact, it is much more of a Public Service Announcement asking you to be as careful as possible when it comes to Financial Scams.
Recently we have seen a huge upsurge in both the quantity and the sophistication of financial scams – some of which have been incredibly convincing.
Technology is becoming exponentially more advanced as the year’s pass, and with a greater quantity of moving parts there becomes an ever-increasing number of exploits available for financial criminals to utilise and attempt to steal your data.
Cyber-Security is very much like the mythical and metaphorical Hydra – every head that’s cut off, two more grow back in its place. This is why vigilance is the best form of defense when it comes to protecting yourself and your sensitive information.
At Acumen have been working closely with the Cyber-Security firm Mitigo to revamp our processes, improve security and knowledge. The core of their advice is very simple:
STOP – THINK – VERIFY
If something seems off, your intuition is a strong tool and the chances are there is something fishy occurring.
- Unexpected calls – Your bank will NEVER call you unexpectedly, no matter how convincing the person is on the other end of the line make sure you end the call immediately. If you are worried about what they’re saying, end the call and ring the bank directly using the number on the back of your payment card.
- Pressure calls – Fraudsters want to hurry you into making a quick decision. They may also ask you to ‘keep it quiet’ and not tell anyone about the call. DO NOT trust anyone who does this.
- A need to transfer money – Scam calls can try to get you to transfer money for security purposes or to a safe/secure/holding account. DO NOT do this. Your bank would never ask you to move money to a ‘safe’ account.
Most recently, we have had a number of clients affected by “calls from their bank” – whereby a scammer has informed them that there have been fraudulent payments made and they need to divulge sensitive information over the phone immediately to freeze the accounts.
These clients have all reported that the number/contact that has been displayed on their phone was the number and details they would expect.
One of the sophisticated methods that scammers employ is cloning numbers – they can contact you and it appears on your phone as the name of the bank and even from a number the bank has used in the past.
By using the above mantra of STOP, THINK, VERIFY you are reducing your chances of falling victim to these high-level fraudsters.
- NEVER give information over the phone to someone who called you.
- ALWAYS VERIFY by ending the call and calling the number stated on your bank card.
It is awful that we have to live in an age of vigilance and cynicism – but if it is the difference between keeping your details safe, then it is a necessary means to an end.
Stay safe, stay vigilant and always STOP, THINK and VERIFY.
If you are concerned about financial security, please give one of our experts a call today on 0151 520 4353 or get in touch on our website.
Curious to learn more about financial scams – read this help guide by Age UK
AdviceDecember 14, 2012
Good news for investors!News from the US that the Federal Reserve has linked interest rates to the unemployment rate is unpr....
AdviceFebruary 27, 2013
Changes to the UK State Pension systemThere has been a lot of newspaper inches devoted to the new state pension announced by the Coalition....
AdviceAugust 20, 2014
Is a pension the only way to save for retirement?Acumen is regularly asked for advice about the best way to plan for retirement and whether pensions ....