FINANCIAL CRIME PREVENTION
Awareness is the key to protecting yourself against financial fraud
We live in an age where technology and communication are conducted over multiple channels. From telephones to websites and social networks, there is more information than ever available to clever financial fraudsters who can use it for their own gain. So how do you protect yourself against financial fraud and what can you do to prevent yourself from becoming the latest victim of financial crime? Awareness is key. It is imperative to remain vigilant, be on alert for anything that seems suspicious and to keep abreast of the common ways in which criminals are attempting to steal your data and your financial worth.
Important tips to protect yourself against financial crime
- Never purchase any form of physical or online voucher from a person claiming to be contacting you from a government official or body
- Guard your personal details. Unless you are certain that a request is genuine, do not give out your address, phone number or date of birth
- Never pay anyone claiming to work for the Financial Ombudsman Service – their service is always free
- Unless you are certain that the request is genuine (for example, if you made contact with a supplier) never provide any of your banking, debit or credit card details
- Do not give anyone your security information, such as you log-on details, internet or telephone banking passwords or anything you might use as a password prompt, such as your mother’s maiden name.
BEWARE OF FAKE FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN OFFERING COMPENSATION
The Financial Ombudsman Service is a valuable service for the public who have concerns over the treatment or advice they receive from a financial services professional – and it is entirely free. Above all else, this is the point to remember if ever your suspicions are aroused. There has been an increase in cold-callers claiming to be ringing on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service to offer a cheque from a compensation claim. Frequently, the recipient of the call is then asked to purchase a gift voucher from a well-known name, such as iTunes, to the value of around £300. They will be instructed that a courier will collect the voucher from their home address and then the compensation will be released, and a cheque sent to them by post.
The Financial Ombudsman Service will never ask you to part with money in order to receive compensation!
If you are on the receiving end of a phone call from someone claiming to be calling on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service and you have concerns about whether the call is genuine, you can call them directly on 0800 023 4567
BEWARE OF INVESTMENT FRAUD
- Check that the investment firm is regulated by the FCA
- Check to see if it is registered as a legal business with Companies House.
- Treat unsolicited investment offers with suspicion
- Before you part with any money or hand over any personal details, check that the investment firm is authorised and check the FCA warning list of suspicious or fake firms that are already known and should be avoided
If you are in any doubt about the validity of an investment, please speak to us first for advice, before investing your money in anything you are unsure of or do not fully understand.
This article does not constitute financial advice and should not be construed as such.