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Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person. There are many words used to describe fraud: Scam, con, swindle, extortion, sham, double-cross, hoax, etc.
Examples of fraud can include:
- Identity fraud and theft
- Persuading you into giving someone money
- Tricking you into buying goods that are not for sale or do not exist
- Deceiving you into investing your pension in a fake pension plan that has little value.
Practical ways to protect yourself from fraud
- Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number/ pin number of part of your pin number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials (you cannot verify them by calling a number they may give you)
- Many frauds start with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine
- Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and envelopes with your name and address on. Identity fraudsters don’t need much information in order to be able to clone your identity
- Install anti-virus software on your computer
- Change your passwords regularly on your computer
- If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of ‘fraud recovery’ fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you’ve already lost.
How can I get help?
If you have experienced fraud, there is help out there for you.
The following services will provide support, or can refer you to another more appropriate service: