While the internet and social media facilitate communication today, we need to be aware of the risks too. Not everybody uses digital platforms for the right purpose. All the information we publish online nowadays increases the risk of facilitating bank fraud.
Mike Tinmouth, the victim in this case, posted a public tweet in frustration with Barclays bank. Unhappy with how long it took to open a business account, he complained online. Not long after his Twitter post, fraudsters contacted him back pretending to represent Barclays. They almost left him without the £8000 he wanted to deposit.
@BarclaysBizChat your help team are utterly incompetent. Trying to set up a business account is proving impossible when your staff are initially vague, then don’t reply to emails and then refuse to assist.
— Mike Tinmouth (@michaeltinmouth) October 16, 2018
Very cleverly, the fraudsters posed as bank employees sorting Mr. Tinmouth’s request. They pretended to have opened the business account and convinced him to authorise the transfer. Luckily though, the whole charade concluded to a happy end for the customer when the bank blocked the transaction.
Bank systems protect customers
In the digital era, banks and other financial institutions resort to such precautions. They put systems in place to flag and even block suspicious transactions.
Some of these systems involve sending a text message to the customer’s mobile phone number. In certain cases, these communicate a transaction or change happened and the bank wants it verified. Also, the bank asks the customer to contact them rather than the other way around. Customers can verify official bank phone numbers online, and in all other bank communication (letters, emails). Such, the chances they fall into scammers’ traps are reduced.
Also, when customers choose to work with a professional financial advisor they reduce such risks. By developing a trust based business relationship with both accountants and bank, they will leave no room for fraudsters to manoeuvre in.
Information will keep us safe against financial fraud
As digital systems benefit and make customers vulnerable at the same time, professional help matters. Also, it helps a great deal to keep informed and be aware of the risks. It will certainly reduce risks if we apply simple precaution measures.
Banks themselves produce regular content to warn customers on fraudsters’ tactics. As scammers prove very creative in finding new ways to rid us of our money, knowing what they come up with keeps us alert. Some of the most common scams in 2018 involved social media spying, malicious software on our phones, and bogus Brexit investment, as reported by Action Fraud.