Great Britain

Don’t let the bogeyman get you! Our guide to helping you stay safe from online scammers

NOWADAYS online scammers, hackers, and phishers are out in full force – but do you know a scam when you see one?

More and more of us are doing our shopping and banking online in the current climate, and as we head towards the biggest shopping season of the year it’s really important to be savvy so that you can protect your money.

Our Card Smart series, in association with Barclaycard, helps you work out how to make the most out of your credit card and save money – and in this edition we’re helping you spot online scams.

What types of scam should you be aware of?

Regardless of how they go about it, fraudsters almost always want personal information from you so that they can commit their crimes. This could be your card details, passwords, PIN numbers, secret answers and much more.

“Phishing” is the term used for tricking someone into giving away their personal information, and it can come in many forms.

You need to be aware of fraudsters trying to use phishing to get your information by email, on the phone, over text message and over social media.

How can you identify scam emails and phishing?

Phishing emails are sent from addresses that are unrelated to the company they claim to be from – but the scammers are able to make them look like they are official.

If you receive an email claiming to be from your bank or an online retail site, then you should always check for the following.

Watch out for social media fraud

Scammers also use social media to create fake brand pages in order to commit online fraud. These can sometimes be hard to spot.

They will often create fake social media ads to try and catch you out. Like the phishing emails, these are designed to get you to click, so they’ll often have a tempting story, like offering you something for free or very cheap.

If you click you will then be taken to a fake site and asked to enter your personal details.

It’s a good idea if you click on one of these links to close the page down and visit the brand’s site by typing the address into your browser – if the offer is genuine you’ll be able to find it on their site.

How do you report a scam?

If you think you’ve spotted a scam then you should report it to Action Fraud – the national fraud and crime reporting centre. They’ll review your report and let you know by email if any action has been taken.

If you think you’ve fallen foul to a scam and your credit card has been used or money has been taken from your bank then you should contact your bank or credit card provider right away and they will be able to help you and help protect your account from any further issues.

How does your credit card company protect you from a scam?

Many credit card providers will have a 24/7 fraud team available. If they spot something that doesn’t look right, you’ll be contacted to alert you or confirm if the transaction is legitimate.

For more information on staying safe online click here to visit Barclaycard’s Spending Safely hub.

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