Identity fraud is on the up. A staggering 79pc of global organisations surveyed by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners said they’d seen an increase in levels of fraud since the start of the pandemic.
This includes everything from credit card fraud and phishing (the practice of tricking people through deceptive email messages or websites into revealing personal information which can then be used illicitly) to synthetic identity fraud, where someone creates an identity to defraud a business.
Why is this type of fraud on the increase? A greater reliance on technology, as more people work from home, means that there are now more opportunities for fraudsters to exploit consumers. Not only are there more people to target now, but scammers are undertaking more sophisticated attacks so it’s less obvious when things aren’t quite as they should be.
In the high pressure Christmas season, a number of us will fall foul of scams, so it’s more important than ever to know what to look out for and how to protect yourself. Here are five top tips.
1. Watch out for misleading social media adverts
These ads frequently sneak into your timelines, and at Christmas time, they’ll promote gift exchanges or cash back schemes but are often fronts for scam sites.
Look to see if there’s a customer service phone number – not having one is a warning sign – and check the site legitimate before buying by reading review sites such as Trustpilot, Reevoo or others.