As we approach the seasonal shopping rush, organisations such as Action Fraud are warning consumers and businesses to remain vigilant to ensure they don’t get hooked by scammers looking to profit from the surge in online activity.
So, to help you strengthen your defences against current fraud trends, WFF has listed 3 of the most common scams as well as some top safety tips from WFF’s Social Engineering expert Tony Sales to help you reduce your risk of fraud and financial crime this retail season.
The WFF research team recently conducted a test of 3 popular online marketplaces and quickly confirmed that marketplace fraud is on the rise, with scammers exploiting poor social media KYC (Know Your Customer) onboarding processes to open accounts at will. Scammers then use these accounts to advertise fake or misleading goods including the latest tech, motor vehicles and clothing at ‘too good to be true’ prices in the hopes of duping unsuspecting bargain hunters into handing over their hard-earned cash, or worse their sensitive data.
Firstly, don’t let the fear of missing out cloud your judgment. Before interacting with any online marketplace seller conduct some research. Check things like their sales history. Ensuring the seller has a proven record for online sales. Check the age of the account. If the account was recently opened and has limited profile information, you should approach the sale with extreme caution. Review previous customer feedback, but keep in mind these can also be faked by fraudsters. Finally, trust your instinct. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
With over 3.4bn phishing emails sent daily the prevalence of phishing attacks has surged in recent times, posing a growing threat to individuals and organisations alike. These attacks are typically executed through spoofed emails, messages, or websites, where cybercriminals impersonate trusted brands, enticing recipients to submit sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial data, usually via a malicious link embedded somewhere within the email.
To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, individuals should be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages, checking for suspicious website URLs, ensuring to verify authenticity of the sender or website before sharing any personal or financial information.
The “WhatsApp Mum, I’ve Broke My Phone” scam is a common social engineering attack where fraudsters impersonate a family member or friend in distress, claiming their phone is damaged and they need urgent financial help. This attack is designed to exploit the victim’s emotions by creating a sense of urgency and distress, requesting immediate money transfers or personal information.
To avoid falling victim to this type of scam, be cautious when receiving unsolicited messages that request money or personal information, especially if the situation seems suspicious or too urgent. Ensure you verify the identity of the person by contacting them through a different communication channel, like a phone call or another messaging app before transferring any funds.
If you believe you have spotted a potential scam, you can find information about how to report it and what you should do next by visiting our ‘I’ve been scammed’ page here.
Businesses and organisations can stay informed on the current and emerging threat landscape by joining the WFF Community for FREE today.