Urban Fraud Myths

The Urban Fraud Myths campaign starts today. Over the next 13 working days we will be debunking the most common myths about fraud and cyber crime.

Have a question about common fraud myths? Action Fraud’s specialist advisers are able to offer help, advice and support on fraud and cyber crime through Facebook visit www.facebook.com/actionfraud and post on their timeline.

If you have fallen victim to fraud you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online: www.actionfraud.police.uk and receive a police crime reference number.

Urban Fraud Myths

Myth

I can always trust the people I meet on online dating sites as they will have been vetted before being allowed to join

Reality

Most dating websites allow people to sign-up without vetting checks.

Always be cautious about the people you meet online, especially if they start asking for money to help a family member, to visit you or pay medical bills etc. Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don't know and trust.

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Myth

When someone phones me, the caller number displayed must be genuine.

Reality

Numbers can be 'spoofed' to mislead the person answering the call, never trust the number you see on your telephone's display.

Like telephone numbers, text messages can also be spoofed to look like they care coming from elsewhere - even if the text appears in the same chain as previous messages.

 

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Myth

Bank staff might ask you for your PIN number or online banking password to check who you are when they call you.

Reality

Bank staff will never ask for your 4-digit card PIN number or online banking password when speaking with you over the phone.

They would never ask you to tap them into the telephone keypad either.

 

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Myth

It's ok to let people put money in my bank account even if I don't know them and don't really understand why they are transferring me the money.

Reality

Whether you do so in return for payment or out of a sense of duty, this is not advisable.

In letting someone else use your account, you might be laundering the proceeds of crime or aiding other crimes-thereby leaving yourself open to face prosecution.

 

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Myth

Public wi-fi is secure and provides a safe forum in which I can do my online banking, shopping etc.

Reality

Any data sent through public Wi-Fi can be intercepted unless you have taken steps to encrypt your data.

If you are using a mobile device over public wi-fi, you are risking the security of your personal information, digital identity, and your money. Risks are even greater if your device or computer is not protected by an effective security system.

 

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Myth

Downloading digital content illegally is harmless.

Reality

This type of crime is far from victimless and has serious repercussions.

Doing so can result in money being used to fund the activities of serious organised crme groups and also has an adverse impact on creative industries and the UK economy.

 

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Myth

Changing details on my insurance policy or making an inflated insurance claim is not really fraud as everyone does it, I won't get caught and insurers can afford it anyway.

Reality

Insurance fraud is a crime that is take seriously by both insurers and police.

The cost of fraud does not affect just insurers, but members of the public also. The chances of being caught are high and the impact on people's lives can be devastating.

 

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Myth

Money Transfer Systems are always safe ways of making payments.

Reality

This is only the case if you personally know and can verify the person that you are sending the money to.

You should take caution when sending money using these services as once the cash is collected, the recipient is untraceabe and the money is not refundble.

 

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Myth

There's nothing in my personal emails that anyone would care about.

Reality

Hackers can use your email to gain access to all your personal accounts. Make your password stronger with three random words.

 

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Myth

It doesn't really matter what information I post of social media sites as only my friends can read it.

Reality

By gettng your privacy settings wrong or accepting people you don't know as friends, you may be giving fraudsters valuable information about you and your habits. Personal details can be used to guess passwords, habits and vulnerabilities so you need to check your social media settings regularly.

All personal information is valuable and fraudsters are very good filling in the missing information.

 

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Myth

If a company has a registered website it must be legitimate.

Reality

It takes just minutes to set upa website in any name you want and at minimal cost, which means fraudsters can set-up a website just as easily as anyone else.

 

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Myth

If I have anti-virus installed on my device (PC, Mobile, Tablet) I am fully protected from viruses.

Reality

It is true that anti-virus provides a very strong layer of protection to your device. However, it can still be bypassed by sophisticated viruses aka malware.

You need to ensure your AV software, operating systems and other security measures up to date.

 

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Myth

It is always safe to make charitable donations to street collectors or via charity mailing.

Reality

Most collections are genuine but check before giving to make sure your money goes to genuine, registered charities.

 

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