Franchising · 7 May 2019

Top ten ways to protect your employees from scams

40% of all crime in the UK is fraud related. Yet whenever we talk to people about fraud and scams, they immediately joke about calls from BT about their internet and how they would never be taken in. Actually, in truth, at least a third of them will be the victim of one or another cyberfrauds alone this year– and the consequences are severe.

The average victim takes almost 2 full work days to sort out the aftermath…

  • 50% of fraud victims suffer severe stress
  • 38% suffer sleeping difficulties

And those are the non-financial consequences. Last year the average reported loss to investment fraud was £29,000.

Keeping employees protected from their biggest criminal risk in the UK makes a big difference in their lives and helps employers reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.

Information is the key to staying safe. We all need to know about the scams, we need to understand how prolific they are and how vulnerable we all are.

It’s essential to keep yourself and your employees informed and give them somewhere to call for advice.

Thirty seconds spent reading our latest Scam Alert email or a one-minute call to our Fraud Advisors, or 5 minutes reading a real-life story about a fraud can save thousands of pounds, weeks of stress and keep everyone focussed on the important things in life.

Our service reinforces good behaviours towards fraud threats and keeps members abreast of the latest nasty scam to look out for.

Let’s have a look at some of those behaviours or golden rules as we like to call them:

1. PAY SAFE

Whenever you buy something online try and use a credit card, the anti-fraud protection is much better than if you use a debit card or a bank transfer.

2. STRONG PASSWORDS

The first part of securing your tech is strong passwords. A strong password will have a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters and should vary for your different accounts.

The National Security Cyber Centre recently published a report highlighting that in one breach they found 23 million people using the password 123456.

Use 2-factor authentication whenever you can. And good anti-virus software is essential on all windows PCs and Android phones.

3. ANTI-VIRUS INSTALLED AND ON?

If you use a windows device, including Android phones you must install good anti-virus software and regularly check that it is switched on and updated.

– The sophistication of today’s viruses and malware require up to date defences.

4. DON’T CLICK!

Whenever you receive an email, text or a pop up resist the urge to click on the link unless you are more than 100% sure of the sender is.

If you really are interested, go independently to their website and make sure it’s the real thing.

The digital world is full of phishing attempts and innocuous looking downloads with horrible malware that can steal your personal details, passwords, and cash.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY

Everyone should regularly review their privacy and security settings on their social media accounts.

Social media has become the fraudster’s number one hunting ground and we all need to monitor who and what we are sharing with whom.

Also make sure that 2-factor authentications are switched on because if your account is taken over by a fraudster, they can wreak havoc and its not easy to get control back.

6. NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM COLD CALLS

It’s so difficult to really know who is at the other end of the phone that it’s just not worth the risk anymore. Simply hang-up and don’t be caught out.

7. DEAR CUSTOMER/CLIENT

If an email, letter, or text is not personally addressed to you, there’s a good chance it’s a fake and should be ignored, especially if there is a link attached.

8. CHANGE OF PAYMENT DETAILS

Whenever you receive an email from someone you pay regularly asking you to change the account details ALWAYS give them a quick call to check, unfortunately due to some of the big recent data breaches there are a lot of compromised email addresses out there and emails look genuine but the sender is not who you think it is.

9. FOLLOW THE CROWDS

Following reviews is not a foolproof tactic but it definitely pays to avoid poorly reviewed products, websites, sellers, etc and also those who have few reviews. On-line it pays to follow the crowd!

10. SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

It’s probably a scam!

As was noted above, the key to staying safe is to stay informed. Unfortunately, with less than 1 in 100 cases of fraud investigated in the UK, fraudsters continue to come up with new malicious scams every day. We all need to make sure that we keep reading, keep talking and keep safe.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Mark White founded Reassura after his wife’s 91-year-old grandmother was conned into paying £600 for a non-existent call blocking service. The scam left the pensioner too embarr-assed to tell anyone and afraid to answer the phone. After hearing of his relative’s ordeal, Mark conducted research into fraud and began working on his idea for a helpline to give victims an immediate fraud advice service from UK-based advisors.

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