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Tips on Avoiding Financial Scams for Safer Internet Day 2023

Written by Suffolk Building Society

7 Feb 2023

4 min read

People use the internet for research, news, entertainment and to manage their finances. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a crucial tool for communication on all levels. People of all ages adopted new technologies, from online calls for working from home, to online learning for school children.

Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic and the rising cost of living, criminals have taken advantage of situations where people are worried about their finances. According to recent data from UK Finance, a staggering £609.8 million was lost as a result of fraud and scams in the first half of 2022.

Various programmes and initiatives have been put in place to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud or scams. The Take Five campaign provides guidance to assist everyone in defending themselves against financial fraud.

‘Take Five’ recommends three steps for staying safe:

  1. STOP

At Suffolk Building Society, we want to help and support our members to stay safe online. Here are our 10 key points to be aware of:

  1. Never share any of your passwords/login details and change them on a regular basis. Don’t use the same passwords for different accounts.
  2. Install the latest anti-virus software on your computer to make sure you are protected against online threats.
  3. Learn to spot fake emails, text messages and social media messages claiming to be from a trusted organisation when they are not. This is defined as ‘phishing’.
  4. Be aware of phone calls claiming to be from a trusted organisation when they are not. This is defined as ‘vishing’.
  5. Click links with caution. Search for official company websites in your browser rather than following links.
  6. If you have the facility to set up a fingerprint on your phone, do it! It will help if your phone was to get into the wrong hands.
  7. Make sure you log off when you are finished using an application, especially if you are using a public computer/device.
  8. Turn on two-factor authentication. This will add an extra layer of security if you are trying to login to an online banking facility.
  9. Be wary of what you are sharing and tagging on social media. It allows scammers to potentially find you in person.
  10. If you are ever concerned about an email, text or phone call purporting to be from Suffolk Building Society, don’t hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected] or by phoning us on 0330 123 0723.

If in doubt, it is always best to stop and think first, in an attempt to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Statistics around cybercrime might be frightening, but you can take a few easy steps to help stay safer online.

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