These take many guises, but a few of the more common examples are described below:

Payment card fraud
There are many types of card fraud aimed at stealing your credit or debit card details, which involve either the theft of the card itself, or of the sensitive information held on the card. This could occur if you are not present at the time of the transaction, for example, when making a purchase over the internet, or if the card is out of your sight, say in a restaurant. Alternatively, the scammer could make you think you are talking with a trusted organisation and trick you into providing the information, or even illegally copy the information from the magnetic strip on the card and create a ‘cloned’ card with your details on it.

Debit and credit cards each have their advantages, and are suited to different situations. A major advantage of using credit cards over debit cards is that the level of protection offered is generally higher, namely when something goes wrong with a purchase, or if your card details are used fraudulently. Although most debit card providers are starting to offer a form of protection when you make purchases using your card, there is no legal obligation for them to do so.

Mobile payment security
Contactless payment is also possible using your smartphone, or other device, such as a tablet or smartwatch. However, unlike using a debit or credit card, you are able to make payments of over £45 (although for transactions over £45 you would have to enter your PIN into your smart device). Using a smart device may be more convenient for you, however you should be aware of the additional risks associated with making payments in this way.

‘Phishing’ scams
This is when scammers attempt to obtain your private, sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, PIN, credit card details, and sometimes money, by pretending to be from your bank or other financial institution, a company you regularly do business with, or from your social networking site. They may do this via email, web page, text message or phone call. The scammers will give you some reason why they need this information, and then use the details to access your account. Frequently the reason used is that there is a problem with your account, and in order to increase the chances of a response, the message may imply a sense of urgency or an immediate risk to your bank account or credit card if you fail to answer.

Phishing emails often include official-looking logos, and might also include convincing details about your personal history, which the scammers were able to find on your social networking pages. They might also include links to ‘spoofed’ or ‘cloned’ websites, which appear to be the financial institution’s own genuine website, and which if followed, ask you to enter personal information.

If you have been scammed, you can rest assured that our recovery experts will help you reclaim your lost funds.