Protecting against scams and fraud is becoming an increasingly crucial aspect of managing your personal finances.
According to UK Finance, more than £960 million was lost to financial fraud in 2017, highlighting the importance of keeping all banking and personal information secure.
Banks, building societies and other financial services providers work hard to safeguard their customers, but there are simple things we can all do to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.
Financial loss often occurs because an individual has been tricked into disclosing their security details. A genuine firm will never contact you out of the blue asking for your PIN, password or to move money to another account, so uninvited approaches should always be questioned.
Avoid clicking on links in suspicious emails or following instructions from an unsolicited text. If in doubt, contact the company directly using a known email address or telephone number and ask them to verify the request.
Remember that fraud isn’t just directed at users of digital technology. Scammers are just as likely to target victims over the telephone or in person by knocking the door, so apply the same level of vigilance, don’t disclose any personal information and only deal with people you know and trust.
Keeping on top of the latest scamming techniques isn’t always easy, however there are plenty of resources available.
The West Brom has introduced a helpful Security Centre to its website packed with useful tips for customers, plus there are government-backed initiatives such as the Take Five campaign which reminds people to stop and consider if what they’re being told is genuine.
We naturally protect our money when we’re physically carrying it, but the same level of care has to be taken around personal information at all times.