How to protect yourself from scams

How to protect yourself from scams

Home > Protecting your money > How to protect yourself from scams

Although scammers can use clever techniques to try and trick and intimidate their potential victims, there are ways to protect yourself from scams.

Be aware of scams

In the case of scams, knowledge is key. Learning what a scam is, including what to look out for, what common scams are around, and what information you should never provide, will help protect you from becoming a victim of a scam.

Know who you’re dealing with

If you’ve found an amazing deal online or have been approached by a cold-caller, the key is to not act right away. You should always research the company so you know exactly who you are dealing with. If there is very little information about them online or they refuse to provide any information, such as contact details, then it is likely to be a scam.

You should also be wary if you are contacted by the Police or your bank out of the blue. If you are asked to provide sensitive information, chances are, you are not talking to who they say they are. The Police or your bank, including thinkmoney, will never ask you to move your money to a ‘safe’ account, ask for your bank details, like your full PIN, or contact you out of business hours. Fraudsters don’t take holidays – we do!

Common websites to be aware of

There are certain websites that scammers often target, and they can even be websites that you use often and wouldn’t suspect. Some of the main websites include social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat. They use these platforms to advertise products, jobs, and investments, making them sound too good to be true to entice you in. As soon as they have your attention they will encourage you to transfer your money to them or provide personal information. Other websites that are often targeted are services like Gumtree. Since websites like these are designed to buy and sell products, spotting scammers is more difficult. Before you buy from a company or a person, you should always do your research.

When it comes to shopping online from a company’s website, you should also make sure you are using secure websites. Look out for the padlock symbol which indicates there is a secure connection between the browser and web server.

Protect your devices

Although being aware of scams is a good way to protect yourself from them, unfortunately, there can still be hidden risks that you would struggle to detect. That is why it is also worth having an additional barrier to protect your devices. You should install security software on your devices as a defence against malicious software. This can protect your devices from viruses, unwanted users accessing your device, data protection, and more.

What you should never do

To help protect yourself from scams, there are a few things that you should never do:

  • Don’t tell anyone your bank details or other sensitive information
  • Don’t tell anyone your passwords or one-time passcodes
  • Don’t click links from unknown emails or SMS messages
  • Don’t open suspicious emails, texts, or attachments
  • Don’t allow remote access to your devices to cold-callers
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi to access sensitive information, for example, online banking
  • Don’t publish your personal details online, such as on social media
  • Don’t use the same password for all your login details

If you have been a victim of a scam, remember you’re not alone. It’s important that you don’t keep it quiet, but report it. Find out how to do so in our ‘How to report a scam’ guide.