VISA issues warning as Britons targeted by dangerous scams – ‘don’t be embarrassed’

Phishing email scams target ‘vulnerable people’ says expert

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Visa is a common name to millions of people, many of whom will deal with the provider for payments through credit and debit card. With finances an important issue for most people, keeping oneself and one’s money safe is key. However, to ensure this protection, it is likely individuals will need to take action, and pay attention to key warning signs that illustrate a problem. 

Firstly, Visa has urged individuals never to share personal or sensitive details with someone they do not know.

In the same way as people would not feel comfortable giving away information to someone who knocks at their door, so too should they be on their guard online.

Visa has said information and money should never be parted with unless someone is 100 percent sure they know and trust the recipient.

In a similar way, Britons should always check who they are speaking to, in order to take control of the situation.

Most financial institutions or Government agencies will not call a person directly on the phone unexpectedly, and will usually reach out beforehand to let a person know to expect this kind of contact.

As a result, individuals are urged to always take the names and information of organisations which call them, or check the company independently to see if it is legitimate.

This independent check can be done, for example, by using a different form of communication to the one the organisation has contacted a person on.

For example, if someone receives a text asking for bank details, they could email or web chat with the company directly to check the request is legitimate.

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Real organisations will not mind if a person wishes to cross-reference in this way.

Unfortunately, email is one popular way scammers are trying to part Britons with their personal and sensitive information.

As such Visa has warned people to review any information before they click, looking at an important checklist.

Email addresses which include random characters, spelling mistakes, or those which do not match the company’s name are often sure fire signs a scam is taking place.

Another trick is to hover over links contained within messages with a mouse, without clicking, as this can reveal the website the link actually takes someone to – and enables them to check its legitimacy.

In a similar sense, paying attention to the details within correspondence received is a key action to take.

Many scams often give themselves away through typing errors or spelling mistakes, and if the wording looks sloppy, it may be a scam.

Finally, Visa has advised individuals that when dealing with supposedly legitimate correspondence, whether this be through email, text or phone, that patience is a virtue.

Cybercriminals or fraudsters often do not want to give people the time to work out they are lying.

This is done through creating a sense of urgency or worry amongst their unsuspecting victims.

Tight deadlines, a pressured deal, and sometimes even threats of repercussions for lack of action can all be used by unscrupulous fraudsters.

Indeed, sometimes these individuals will even take a more ameliorative approach, providing a deal which seems too good to be true – but in this case, it probably is.

As such, Visa has warned customers to always take the time and care to check who they are hearing from. 

Jeni Mundy, Managing Director UK and Ireland, Visa, commented on the matter.

She said: “Experiencing a scam can be very distressing – it can have as much of an emotional impact as it does a financial one.

“Fraudsters’ tactics are increasingly sophisticated and are designed to confuse and trick.

“So, people shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if it does happen to them.

“Scams can take many different forms, which is why we’re sharing our top tips for spotting the tell-tale signs of fraud.”

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