We were very pleased to welcome Ryan Taylor from NatWest Bank who enlightened us on frauds and scams in financial services.
He said that 1 to 2 billion pounds is lost every year due to fraud and scams. This money often goes to terrorist organisations as well as criminal gangs. Only 5% is ever reported due to reluctance, embarrassment and allied issues.
Often the object is gaining information as much as getting money. If a data base is accessed, the details can be sold on to various criminal gangs until eventually “you” end up on a “suckers” list! People on this list tend to be targeted multiple times. The approach used by scammers includes charm, sympathy, and helpfulness but if you show signs of non-acceptance the approach ends up with threats and intimidation. Many fraudsters are articulate post graduate students, who have found it a lucrative way to make money. There are different types of fraud where personal details are given to the fraudsters:
- Tax frauds: Often offering a tax refund.
- Track and trace: A popular approach at the moment due to the Coronavirus, offering free COVID tests.
- Television licence renewals: The site often looks genuine but there is a small difference in the details and you are told that you will be prosecuted if you do not comply.
- Impersonations of a police officer or a bank official: You are usually told that your bank account is not secure and is being fraudulently targeted so you need to transfer to a new safe account, The account is fake and the money then disappears from the new account. You are always told to act immediately thus giving you no time to think.
- Slow computers or slow internet access: The scammers tell you they need access to your computer and need your details. Once they have access to your computer they have access to everything on there. Bank accounts etc
The fraudsters often suggest you verify the call with your bank and if you make another call straight away to your bank the fraudsters keep the line open and impersonate your bank. So either use another telephone or wait for up to 30 minutes. There is a website called “friends against scams” which can be used if you suspect you have been scammed.
Thank you Ryan it was a very useful and informative talk.