Spotting common signs of a banking scam

Banking scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and many consumers are fearful they’ll be duped out of their life savings.

The good news is, public awareness is on the rise and with the right information you can help guard yourself against financial fraud and avoid falling victim to a scam.

Here’s some of the more common signs of a banking scam to notice

Transfer scams

One of the more common banking scams involves a fraudulent phone call. Someone claiming to be the bank telephones to say there has been a problem with your account, and that for your safety you must transfer your balance to a “safe account” until the problem is solved.

In reality, you’re transferring money to the scammer’s bank account, and because technically you authorised this transfer, it can be difficult to claim back.

A real bank will never ask you to transfer money to a safe account over the phone. If in doubt end the phone call and phone your branch.

Phishing scams

These scams can be particularly upsetting because they appear to be very real. An email that looks like it’s from your bank arrives in your bank account, asking you to click a link and log in to your online banking to check a problem with your account or take advantage of a new offer.

Instead of going to the bank website though, you’ll be directed to a cloned website that is stealing your login details for a scammer to use.

To avoid this, first check the email carefully and take note of anything suspicious, such as an unusual email address. The link will direct you to a landing page that will look very similar to your bank but may be slightly different in subtle ways, such as it’s an http website rather than https, or the URL is different from what you usually log in with.

You can avoid phishing scams like this by never clicking on an email link, and instead when you want to go to your online bank, entering the website URL directly.

Personal details

A common and simple banking scam involves someone claiming to be from the bank calling to verify a handful of personal details, such as your address, postcode and banking password. A real bank will only ask for a handful of details – such as your memorable word – while doing security checks. It’s also very rare for the bank to phone you; typically, you need to contact your bank. If in doubt, hang up and phone back using the telephone number listed on the bank’s website.

Have you fallen victim to a banking scam? Share your experiences in the comments below

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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