I have written about this before, but the risk is still with us, and then some!  I was interested in an article on it in Which Magazine this month.  [By the way I strongly recommend that publication – whatever the month].

It warned that the scammers are getting more sophisticated:

  • they are improving their spelling
  • they are using our first names
  • they are getting bits of information about you from different sources so that they sound convincing when they put it all together.

What sources?

  1. Your profiles on social media
  2. your blogs
  3. the Electoral Register
  4. other websites where you have given your contact details.

What can you do?

  • Look out for pfishinge-mails.  Anything unsolicited and unexpected should be suspect.
  • if in doubt contact the organisation they say they represent (your bank, IT support, HMRC) using an e-mail address or ‘phone number you know is correct, but don’t reply to the e-mail itself
  • Think twice or more about what information you are giving out on social media or other websites.
  • How many people know your date of birth?  How many organisations use that as “proof” of your ID?
  • It’s nice to receive lots of birthday cards and e-messages, but  would you be better off getting fewer if it meant staying safer?

If you have been scammed use the Action Fraud line 0300 123 2040 or contact the police, as well as your bank, credit card company.