Protect your financial self
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been reports of a 400% increase in scams as a result of coronavirus-related fraud. Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime have seen reports where there have been total losses reaching nearly £970,000. Don’t let it be you!
We’ve put together some top tips to help you protect your overall financial wellbeing:
- Set up ‘two factor authentication’ – this is to secure your online banking and/or shopping accounts. You would sign into your account using your usual password and then the second stage would send you a specific code to your mobile phone.
- Review your credit report - check for any unusual activity. ClearScore is a free and trusted website and has recently installed a ‘Protect’ function that checks if your passwords have been copied on the dark web. Other credit report websites such as Experian and Credit Karma are also available.
- Check your email address - see if it has been compromised in any online scams on haveibeenpwned. Simply type your email address in the box and it will tell you if there have been any data security breaches connected to it.
- Review your passwords – if you use the same one for multiple accounts, it’s worth changing it. You can download LastPass, a free, safe and secure app to store passwords as well as autogenerate them. Other password managers are available such as Dashlane and Keeper.
- Strange phone calls - if you receive a call from anywhere asking to confirm any personal bank information, HANG UP! To double check if it was real, it’s worth calling your bank directly using a trusted telephone number from their website. DON’T use the phone number they provide you with.
- Money Saving Expert - Martin Lewis has been working hard to provide fact-checked information and his website is kept up to date at www.moneysavingexpert.com.
- Phishing emails – emails with bad spelling, grammar and an urgent tone should be a cause for concern. Don’t click on any of the links included. Just delete the email if it looks suspicious.
- Smishing texts – just like emails, scammers can target your mobile phone. Ignore and delete any messages from numbers you don’t recognise.
Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!