Top tips on how to avoid falling victim to fraud

Fraud

 

 

Cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to small and medium-sized enterprises including farms, because they know that those running these businesses often live and work in isolation and are probably an easier target than larger companies which may have more security in place.

 

 

Criminals are using a fast-changing range of approaches to steal from small and medium-sized enterprises.  Some look for data which they can either sell or use themselves to commit a further crime – such as raiding bank accounts or setting up a fake website to mimic that or redirecting payments to suppliers. Others may try to commit extortion by blocking the computer systems of a business and demanding payments in return for unlocking the data.

 

5 tips on how to avoid falling victim to fraud:

 

  • Have up-to-date antivirus software in place on your computer systems, ensure firewalls are switched on and update software as quickly as possible. Criminals use weaknesses in software to attack devices and steal information.

 

  • Have a strong, separate password on your email accounts as criminals can use email as an entry point to other accounts.

 

  • Be careful what information you share externally. Fraudsters can use snippets from social media posts to gain knowledge of a person’s circumstances which helps them sound more convincing.

 

  • If someone emails or phones asking for supplier’s bank details to be changed, always verify with that supplier separately, on the phone or in person, using the contact details you have on file. Criminals can access or alter emails to make them appear genuine when it isn’t.

 

  • A genuine bank will never contact you out of the blue and ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Always treat phone calls and emails claiming to be from your bank with suspicion.

 

Contact your bank straight away if you think you may have fallen victim to a scam.

 

Cases of fraud should be reported to Action Fraud using its online reporting tool or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.