Martin Lewis advises on savings accounts and premium bonds
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National Savings and Investments (NS&I) have offered suggestions as to what things Britons may wish to look out for to spot the scam. Phishing is an email scam designed to trick people into handing something over to a fraudster.
This could be money or their personal information such as bank account numbers or online banking passwords which could in turn lead them to lose thousands of pounds.
How to spot a phishing email
On their website, NS&I explain that phishing emails can often look “very convincing”.
At first glance they might look very similar, even identical, to a genuine email from a trusted company, using the same logos, layout and language that you’re familiar with.
Their website states: “The important thing to look out for is that they’ll often ask you to do something which can benefit the fraudster”.
They could include messages like such as:
“Your account has been blocked. Please click the following link to verify your account log-in to gain access.
“Your account has been compromised. Please change your password using the following link.
“To claim your refund, please click the following link.”
Phishing emails can contain viruses that infect someone’s computer once a link is clicked or an attachment is opened.
These are particularly dangerous and are often used by fraudsters to lead victims into more elaborate online scams.
NS&I warn Britons to never click on suspicious links on emails.
They state: “Be sure to never click on anything that looks suspicious.
“We’ll never send you a link in an email going directly to our login page, or ask you to enter your online banking details.
“Emails from NS&I will often have ‘National Savings and Investments’ as the sender name and will be from one of the following email addresses:
“If you have a concern about an email that appears to be from NS&I, please send it to us straight away at: [email protected]”
Smishing, vishing and phishing are all terminology used relating to scams on different mediums where a fraudster will impersonate a person or organisation to convince their victim to provide money or personal information to them.
Smishing utilises text messages to scam victims, where fraudsters can often look very convincing.
Smishing texts are designed to convince victims to provide something over the text message.
Alternatively, texts may use a link to a website that appear genuine where users will be asked for personal information such as login details.
Due to the medium of this scam, it can be more difficult to spot that it is not genuine communication from NS&I.
Vishing is a phone call scam and can be particularly difficult to get rid of once someone has answered the call, even if the original scam fails.
Answering a fraudulent phone call can see one’s number marked as a possibility for future scams which generally involve passing on their information during the phone call.
NS&I suggested customers should not disclose any personal information or security details over the phone until they have confirmed that the call is genuine.
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