Fraudsters are particularly active at this time of year, making the risk of scams affecting your business greater. They often aim to exploit end of year deadlines and reduced numbers of staff to target businesses with scams. Help protect yourself and your business this winter by learning about the common approaches scammers use.
Keep up to date on what to look out forDeals that seem too good to be true, text messages informing you of ‘suspicious activity’ on your account, and unsolicited emails. Fraudsters have a variety of methods to try and scam you. To help you stay safe this festive period, here are some common approaches fraudsters use when attempting purchase scams and how to spot them.
What is it and how does it work:
- Fraudsters sell non-existent products at discounted prices to attract buyers. The victim intentionally makes a payment, but for products that do not exist and never arrive.
- Criminals rely on the anonymity of the internet to advertise non-existent goods on websites (including auction sites) and social media.
- Fraudsters will also clone genuine websites or use paid advertising to lure customers to a fake website.
What to look for:
- Do some research to find out what a fair price is for similar goods in the same condition. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- You can search for a company’s details on GOV.UK. This will tell you if they’re a registered company or not. Check where a company’s office is, and whether they have a landline in this country and a proper address, including street name rather than just a post office box.
- Read the terms and conditions before you buy (some state that there are no refunds).
Action you can take now:
- Always use the secure payment method recommend by reputable online retailers. Be very wary of requests to pay by bank transfer. If a seller tries to persuade you to go outside the sites usual process or payment methods, treat with extreme caution, as it’s likely a scam.
- Never provide your company, personal bank account, or credit card information, unless you’re certain who you’re dealing with.
- Share this information with employees and colleagues, so they know what to look out for.
For help on how to spot other common scams and help prevent them affecting your business: visit our business security centre. You can also use our webinars and resources to learn more about common scam threats.
Sensing a Scam?
We are here to help:
Whether you’ve clicked on a suspicious link, don’t recognise a transaction, or think you might have been scammed, you can get help from our report a fraud page. You can also call 159 to talk with a scam specialist team.
Fraudsters may also try and impersonate your bank
Because of this, here at Nat West, we’d like to remind you that we will NEVER:
- Ask for your full PIN or Password when identifying you online
- Ask for card reader codes on the phone, by email, or text message
- Ask you to move money to a ‘safe’ account
- Ask you to make test payments
If you receive a call or email from NatWest that you are suspicious about, hang up immediately, or forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and advice, please visit our security centre.