Around £208 million was lost by victims tricked into transferring money to accounts belonging to criminals in the first six months of 2019, according to banking body UK Finance.
At Brewin Dolphin, we’re seeing an increase in so-called authorised push payment (APP) fraud attempts, which includes cases where criminals hack into email accounts to trick people into sending money to accounts controlled by criminals.
Here are some tips to stay safe:
Keep your email secure
Cyber criminals can use the information within an email account to impersonate individuals.
They can also manipulate email conversations to deceive victims into directing payments to fraudulent bank accounts, instead of legitimate businesses or traders.
If an email account is protected with a simple password, or one which has been used for another purpose, such as a social media or online shopping, then it’s at risk of compromise.
Don’t re-use passwords
Cyber Aware advise that personal email accounts should be secured with a strong, unique password. In their ‘Little Book of Big Scams’, the Metropolitan Police recommend choosing three random words to create that password.
Including numbers or special characters will make a password even stronger, without necessarily making it harder to remember.
Query new bank details
Double check any emailed instructions which request payments to a new bank account. Use a communication method other than email to verify the details, such as a phone call to the person or business involved.
Companies don’t regularly change their bank account details, so a last-minute e-mail telling you that they have should also be questioned.
If you think you have lost money to fraud, you should report this to Action Fraud on 0300 113 2040 or online via their website.
The information contained in this document is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness.
The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the views held throughout Brewin Dolphin Ltd