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5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Financial Fraud

Investor or not, financial fraud is a risk to everyone. In 2021 alone, cases of global fraud rose by a staggering...

21 May 2022

Banc Content

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Investor or not, financial fraud is a risk to everyone. In 2021 alone, cases of global fraud rose by a staggering 149%, with many blaming the unique conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic for this dramatic increase.

As an individual, it can be hard to stay abreast of the latest anti-fraud best practices. After all, cyber-attacks and phishing scams are becoming ever more sophisticated, so the average person may lack the knowledge and expertise to adequately protect themselves from these growing threats.

To help you safeguard your assets against fraud, scams, and cybercrime, we’ve put together this essential guide on protecting yourself against financial fraud. Because while it’s impossible to guarantee 100% protection against fraud, a proactive approach can certainly help.

1. Know How to Identify Common Scams

Cybercriminals will use any means at their disposal to steal your personal information and financial data. This applies to a range of channels, including fraudulent phone calls, text messages, and emails, as well as online banking and investment scams.

While scams differ across these channels and platforms, criminals typically use comparable tactics to try to access your financial records. Familiarizing yourself with these commonly used strategies can help you to spot scams – and take action – before they materialize.

Common signs of financial scams include:

  • Requests to provide sensitive personal or financial information
  • ‘Urgent or ‘act now’ messaging
  • Prompts to call unfamiliar numbers; always cross-reference contact information against a bank or organization’s official contact details
  • Requests to provide your card’s PIN for ID purposes
  • Not using your full name or providing any other identifying information in email or text correspondence
  • Suspicious links to dubious-looking web pages, often with a spelling mistake or error to differentiate it from a bank’s official site

For further advice on spotting financial scams, visit the USA.gov fraud portal.

Protecting against financial fraud

2. Familiarize Yourself with Your Bank’s Privacy Policy

Banks and other financial institutions take a proactive role in keeping customer information safe. They understand that security standards are a major concern for users, so it’s in their best interest to provide as secure a service as possible.

To help you discern scams from genuine correspondence, banks provide no-nonsense information on the types of requests and information they typically ask for. Though rules differ between organizations, financial institutions will generally never:

  • Ask you for personal information over the phone or online
  • Request that you transfer money into a separate account, even if you’re a victim of fraud
  • Ask you to withdraw funds and hand them over for safekeeping
  • Request digits from your debit or credit card, particularly the three numbers from the privacy strip
  • Pressurize you or use urgent messaging

3. Never Click on Suspicious Links in an Email or Text Message

Phishing scams often take the form of urgent messaging prompting you to click on suspicious links. Don’t. These bogus links lead nowhere and can often end in you handing over personal details or providing inadvertent access to cybercriminals.

Banks and financial institutions rarely send correspondence that contain links. So, if you do receive a message which includes a link, always treat it with suspicion.

The easiest way to spot a bogus link is to hover over the hyperlink until the forwarding address appears; on mobile devices, you can long-press the link to see the same details. If you don’t recognize the address, never click the link.

Alternatively, if you’re worried about clicking a link by mistake, simply contact the organization in question. They should be able to confirm whether or not the message or email is genuine.

Phishing scams like these are among the most prevalent forms of financial fraud out there; they’re also the most effective. Our advice is to treat every email or message with suspicion, confirming all the facts before taking action.

Protecting your business against financial fraud

4. Know the Signs of Investment Scams

Interest in investing has exploded over the past decade, and the emergence of new asset classes, platforms, and opportunities has, inadvertently, given rise to a wave of investment scammers. Like general banking scams, investment fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated, so you need to perform the appropriate due diligence at every stage of your investment journey.

Understanding the common signs of investment fraud is a good starting point for developing a sound working knowledge of the typical threats that investors face. Warning signs to look for include:

  • Unsolicited contact – cold-calling in any form should arouse suspicion, so proceed with caution.
  • Improbable returns – if a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Question every aspect of a proposition to validate its legitimacy.
  • Pressure – a common tactic used by investment scammers is to pressurize you towards a decision. This typically takes the form of a deadline or deal expiration, at which time you’ll no longer get the same favorable rates. Never feel pressured to make any investment decisions.
  • Requesting remote access to your devices – some scammers may request remote access to your device to show you a specific app or piece of software. Let them in, however, and they could easily swipe your personal information or lock you out of your device altogether.
  • False authority – the shrewdest scammers go to great pains to make their materials look as convincing as possible, using doctored logos, messaging, and regulatory wording to add authenticity to their pitch. Such scams are among the hardest to spot, but as we touched on earlier, you should treat all unfamiliar correspondence with suspicion.

Businessman protecting against financial fraud

5. Listen to Your Instincts

If you’re reading this guide, you’re already halfway to making yourself less of a target of financial fraud. But there’s only so far guides, advice, and security software can protect you and your money; the rest is up to you.

When it comes to managing your money – either through a bank or investment portal – you need to stay sharp, smart, and switched on. Common sense and gut feeling are as important as security protocols when managing money online, so never let your guard down.

Whether you’re an investor or a bank customer, there are times when complacency can creep into day-to-day asset management. You may start being less careful with your everyday apps and software, making it easier to miss the warning signs of incoming threats.

What’s more, it’s often difficult for the average person to keep up to date with the latest security threats and fraud tactics. With complex new strategies emerging all the time, a careful and consistent approach is needed.

If you are the victim of financial fraud, it’s important to report this to your local government. They pass all fraud cases to the federal government, which in turn tracks scam patterns, updating guidance accordingly. This ensures that security protocols remain in step with the latest threats.

At Glint, we make every effort to demonstrate a balanced conversation between gold, crypto and fiat currencies when it comes to purchasing power and, while we strongly believe that gold is the fairest and most reliable currency on the planet, we need to point out that it isn’t 100% risk free. While we have seen a steady increase over time, the value of gold can fall, which means that its purchasing power can also decline.
 
To learn more, visit our homepage or give us a call at +44(0)203 915 8111.

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