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Staying aware of scams

7 Nov 2023 | 2 minutes to read

With more and more of us shopping online, the possibility of being targeted by scammers is an increasing threat. Scams are constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated so it pays to be more vigilant than ever so as not to fall prey to them.

If you are approached on social media, by email, link, or phone, stop, think, and apply the four golden rules:

  1. Has someone you don’t know contacted you unexpectedly?
  2. Are they pressuring you to make a quick decision?
  3. Are they asking you to provide personal/identifiable information?
  4. Are they offering something that looks too good to be true?

With this in mind, it’s a good time to revisit some tried and tested tactics to stop fraudsters in their tracks.

Cyber and device protection

Ensure all data stored and all transactions and activity is protected. Use VPN, anti-virus, malware, passwords, backups – ensure you have the full level of protection available and keep anti-virus software updated on your devices

Personal information

Even in isolation, be very careful who you share your personal, identifiable information with

Passwords and PIN numbers

Should be strong, should not include personal identifiable information, never share with anyone, never write these down. For added security use encrypted services

Social footprint

Be aware of what you are disclosing online via social platforms - Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc – it’s easy to collect birth date, year of birth etc and device cameras can also be used to ‘spy’ on credit cards etc within view

Public places/public devices

Never save a password on a public or shared device. Log out of any website when you finish/leave the device. Consider using ‘incognito’ mode. When using public WiFi be aware your details are not secure and others can capture what's on your screen, be wary of having your credit/debit card details visible and don’t share this information audibly


Don’t click on links sent to you in emails, texts, messages or social media unless you are certain they are from a known source, as criminals use these to get into your data

Non-UK assets/activities/providers

Laws vary, protection varies and many regions won’t have the same regulators or crime stoppers/agencies as in the UK. So take extra care when operating outside of the UK or when working with providers outside of the UK

Reputable providers

Only work with reputable providers. Do your research and check where they are based, how they are regulated etc

There are also some great resources to help guard against scams and to help if you have been subject to fraud:

Unfortunately, scammers don’t care who they approach and who they defraud. They work on a volume basis, knowing that those who have little protection, who are less aware and who may be more vulnerable are more likely to fall prey to their approaches.

Being scam aware and being alert to the increased risks will hopefully put more people out of their reach.


Before you invest, make sure you feel comfortable with the level of risk you take. Investments aim to grow your money, but they might lose it too.