Financial crime – don’t become a victim!

Follow some common sense rules to reduce your chance of being a victim of financial crime.

Criminals are quick to exploit the ignorance and vulnerability of their victims. The recent proliferation of devices, from smartphones and tablets to web-connected appliances, has opened us all up to even greater risks.

Yet by simply following a few common sense rules, you can drastically reduce your exposure and the risk of being taken in by these fraudsters.

Telecom fraud

Random victims are contacted by a criminal claiming to be a friend, relative or someone in a position of authority and tricked into parting with money.

  • DON’T panic! If you receive a call saying a friend or relative is in trouble, first try to check the identity of the caller but don’t call back the same number.
  • DON’T give any personal or confidential information over the phone.
  • DON’T trust someone who claims to be a government official or law enforcement officer; they never demand payment or confidential information. DO contact your local police to check.

Romance Scams

Criminals develop a “relationship” with victims through social media with the ultimate goal of obtaining money.  

  • DO be vigilant if you are approached by someone you don’t know, especially if it leads to a request for money.
  • DO think twice before transferring money, however genuine the request might seem.
  • DON’T disclose personal/confidential information on social media.

Investment/Boiler room fraud

Victims are pressured into investing in fraudulent or worthless shares.  

  • DO be skeptical if you receive a cold call on investment opportunities.
  • DO verify the authenticity of investment products and consult an independent financial advisor.
  • DON’T transfer money to anyone simply based on a call.

Sextortion

Victims (often men) are tricked by an attractive stranger into participating in naked videos chats which are secretly recorded and subsequently used for blackmail.

  • DO remember that nothing is private on the web and data cannot be erased.
  • DO ask pertinent questions and try to verify the identity of anyone who approaches you.
  • If you do receive a blackmail threat, DON’T pay up, report it to the police.

Payment cards

  • DO keep your cards safe. Regularly check your bank/credit card accounts.
  • DO look carefully at ATMs and payment terminals to make sure there are no suspicious objects around the card slot.
  • DO keep your distance from other people when using payment terminals.
  • DON’T disclose your PIN/passwords. Banks will never ask you for this over the phone or by email.
  • DON’T provide bank details unless you initiated the payment process.
  • If you are contacted by your bank to update details or take advantage of a special offer, DON’T click on the link in the email. Check out the legitimate website or contact the bank.
  • DON’T make a payment online or do any online banking if you are connected to public Wi-Fi, as your information can be easily stolen.

Money laundering

  • DO be suspicious if you are asked to let someone else use your bank account.
  • DO be wary of cash transactions concerning large amounts of money, there are much more secure payment methods available.
  • DON’T let yourself be manipulated. Criminal syndicates often operate by developing relationships with their victims before tricking them into handling money

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