At Brown Shipley we want to help protect our clients from fraud and give you peace of mind that your money is safe. Unfortunately, we live in a time where financial fraud is on the increase and fraudster techniques are becoming more sophisticated.
In this article we focus on email fraud or ‘phishing’. When receiving emails you need to be mindful that it may be fraudsters pretending to be from Brown Shipley, another bank or other well-known service organisations. The following information will help you spot ‘phishing’ emails, where fraudsters send bogus messages which appear to be authentic and from a legitimate organisation.
Below are the common signs to look out for to help you spot these types of ‘phishing’ emails:
- The email address is different from the organisation.
If the email address is different from the organisation they say they are, this is a typical sign that the email is fraudulent. No respected business will send an email out from a personal email address such as @gmail.com or @hotmail.com.
- The message contains poor spelling and grammar.
Often fraudulent emails will contain spelling mistakes and poor grammar. If an email contains these types of errors it may be from a fraudster. Companies will always want to be professional, and check their emails over to ensure what they send you is correct.
- The message asks for personal information.
No company will ask you to provide personal information, account numbers or passwords via an email. If an email requests this type of information to be provided, it’s most likely to be from a fraudster.
- The email has a sense of urgency or a threat if you do not provide information in a given time period.
The email may request that you provide sensitive information within a given time periodor your account may be closed. Threats and tight time frames are often used to pressure you to act quickly. Instead, you should check that the information is legitimate and contact your provider directly to confirm the information.
- The offer appears to be too good to be true.
If the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is, especially if this comes via an email. Trust your gut and treat these emails suspiciously, it’s usually in your best interest to avoid acting on the message.
- The email message contains mismatched website links.
If the email contains any links to websites, make sure they are what they seem. It may be taking you somewhere different to where it says. Simply hover over the link. If the web address is different to the company claiming to contact you, it’s not to be trusted.
How to Protect Yourself
- Do not open, forward or respond to emails if you don’t recognise the sender or you suspect it could be a scam.
- Do not open up any attachments in emails sent to you from unknown sources. Contact the company first to check the email is legitimate.
- Do not click on any links if you think the email is suspicious. Hover over the link to check the URL destination matches with the company who is sending it.
- You can set filters to allow emails from a trusted source and likewise you can block any emails that may look suspicious.
Who to Contact
If you suspect that you have received a ‘phishing’ email or you have become a victim of fraud, please contact Brown Shipley immediately on 0800 916 6911* or email our dedicated fraud mailbox at BSCOfraud@brownshipley.co.uk
*Lines are open Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm, local call charges apply. Telephone calls may be recorded for regulatory and legal purposes. If dialling from outside the UK please call +44 207 320 3662.
Further information on how to protect yourself from financial fraud can be found at here.