It is not easy to spot them – but it is possible (Rule #2 Stay alert)
Falling for a scammer can happen to everyone. Literally everyone!
Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre, received in excess of 20,000 reports in 2021 about Cyber-Enabled crime and the losses amounted to a staggering £57 Million in 2021 in the UK alone.
Scammers are incredibly smart and have proven psychological tactics in place that they tested with a very high number of victims before they reached out to you. There is even a word for this: Social Engineering.
So, if you fell for a scam: do not talk yourself down but use this as your opportunity to learn more about online security and social engineering to lower the impact of scammers on you, your family, and everyone else.
Identifying a scam attempt
While identifying a scam attempt can be hard, the good news is: It is possible!
One important rule is to always stay alert and keep in mind that a scammer can be anywhere. They use various methods to try to scam you, this could be inside your emails using phishing links to try to get you to part with your money, behind a popup message on your screen, and even calling you on your own phone as we saw here: The stranger calling (Rule #1 Recognise it´s real).
Our mission is to arm you and everyone else with the knowledge and awareness of online security. And do not worry - this is not about learning technical stuff. This is about learning how criminals are abusing your trust in people to rob you and how you can stay alert to protect yourself. We´ll make the Sherlock of Online Security.
Together, we are stronger than the scammers and help each other to always stay a step or two ahead of them!
This article focuses on raising your awareness that people reaching out to you via an unsolicited call or text message are most likely trying to scam you. Be extra careful when someone reaches out to you like that and do not fall for their stories.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, stop for a moment before allowing anybody access to your device or personal information. Challenge, could this be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. Protect your money by contacting your bank immediately on a different device that the scammer has contacted you on. If you think you have been the victim of a scam, report it to your local police force.
The best thing to do
👉 Hang up right away or delete their text message and make sure to only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop up, or text message.
Former Community Manager