In today’s digital age, financial transactions and personal information are exchanged more rapidly and conveniently than ever. This is a positive move, however it can lead to a surge in fraud which can in turn lead to serious consequences. In this article we delve into investigations and provide practical tips on how individuals can protect themselves.
Financial fraud is when a criminal takes money or assets from an individual or business via deception or criminal activity. Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated, they use several tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in systems, networks, government, laws and human behaviour. Proceeds of financial crime will be laundered in the UK and moved overseas, there are crime groups organised to have criminals obtain goods and cover the original source of the funds.
Fraudsters target vulnerable individuals, major corporations, small businesses and high net-worth individuals. There are a variety of types of financial frauds, some of the most common forms are: data breaches; online fraud; identity theft; romance scams; buying goods that do not exist; safe account scams; and invoice scams.
You can safeguard yourself from these financial frauds by following these tips:
- Never sharing your personal information until you have verified their legitimacy. This includes your name, address, email, phone number and most importantly your bank account details;
- Ensure you have anti-virus software and firewalls set up on any digital devices you use. This will prevent malware issues and give you a high level of security;
- Fraud often starts with phishing emails, remember that banks will never ask for you to send details via a link, do not trust these emails even if they appear legitimate;
- Shred and destroy any personal information you no longer require; fraudsters do not need much information to clone you;
- Finally think before you act, you will not be pressured by legitimate companies into making decisions. Contact a trusted institution yourself if you are unsure.
If you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud. Victims often feel ashamed, therefore financial fraud is underreported. However, to prevent future cases, it is very important to report any instances of fraud and there is a chance your lost funds could be recovered.
Hawsons Wealth Management Limited provides a full range of financial services for individuals and businesses. As fully independent, highly experienced professional financial advisers we are in the best position to be able to provide a tailored solution for corporate and personal financial services and investment advice, linked with specialist tax planning advice from the experts at Hawsons Chartered Accountants.
To find out more, contact Hawsons Chartered Accountants on 01604 645600 or visit the website.