The rise of the digital age has opened up a world of possibilities where finances and investments are concerned. However, the flip side is a rising threat from fraudsters. Whether you’re tech-savvy and know exactly what to look out for, or you’re nervous about conducting transactions online, it makes no difference; anyone can fall prey to a scam or fraud.
While there are certainly ways to protect yourself from fraudsters – including understanding how scams work and what you need to do to protect your personal information – it’s also crucial to know what to do should the worst happen and you feel you’ve been scammed.
A Rise In Fraudster Activity
From texts that seem to come from your bank to emails you’d swear were sent by money transfer services to fully blown fake websites, scammers aren’t shy about their tactics when it comes to defrauding people of their hard-earned cash.
Scammers and fraudsters can employ the latest technology to aid their plans. Yet they’re also adept at exploiting situations and manipulating emotions to build trust with you, create a sense of panic or urgency that compels you to take action, and then convince you the best course is to divulge your details. This may be over a text or email. However, it can also be through a phone call, on which you are fully convinced you’re speaking to your bank or another valid institution with a reasonable reason to ask for those details.
And it’s not just bank accounts that need protecting from potential fraudsters. Scammers will also target investment accounts, pensions, and even insurance. Vigilance is essential, particularly now, as we’re seeing a rise in the number of fraudulent activities taking place. This often takes the form of fraudulent payment requests, which occur when a client’s email has been compromised. With scammers controlling customer email accounts, they may request large pay-outs from their investments and direct those funds to fraudulent bank accounts.
Should their request be successful, that money is rapidly transferred overseas, making it tough to recover once the fraud is discovered. Unfortunately, this can happen to anyone, even financial advisers!
How Do We Protect Clients’ Investments?
We contact clients directly through a known or registered phone number. Where possible, a face-to-face meeting is arranged to ensure the instructions are legitimate. We can also consider extra verification options, such as asking questions only a genuine client would know.
This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.