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How to protect yourself from scammers
Over the past year, everyone has drastically improved their use of tech – unfortunately, scammers are no exception. Increasingly, simpler phishing scams from suspicious email accounts and private numbers have begun to lose their effectiveness. As a result, digital thieves have evolved their tactics to trick us out of our hard-earned cash. Below we’ve refreshed our scams awareness tips, to keep you and your savings safe.

Always check your deliveries

Have you ever received a text or email that’s seemingly from a delivery company, yet you haven’t ordered anything? As we increasingly use e-commerce sites, scammers are preying on our natural willingness to pinpoint our packages. To be safe, avoid replying to or clicking links on any strange texts or emails.  Log into the retail site directly and double check the orders page to retrieve your order number or tracking details. If a financial institution appears to be contacting you, like a bank or HMRC – never send them your personal information, contact customer service instead and follow the usual authentication protocols.

When in doubt, check the app

We’re all guilty of not keeping up with our finances; sometimes life just gets in the way. However, regularly checking your accounts online is the easiest way to spot any unfamiliar charges. These days, most banks and savings providers have a handy app to access your accounts on the go. There’s no time to waste: the faster you spot a mistake, the better chance you have of keeping your cash secure. For more info about our very own app click here.

If it’s too good to be true…

A new scam involving fake websites advertising investment bonds and ISA’s has become extremely dangerous to savers who are looking for products with a healthy or increased rate. Sadly, many of these sites rank highly on Google and other search engines. The scammers will use logos and branding from legitimate banks and savings providers to trick you into thinking they are real. If you spot a product with a rate that seems out of line with the Bank of England’s base rate or general market competition, be very sceptical and quickly contact the provider or the FCA.

Be vigilant on social media

It may seem obvious but avoid sharing important personal details on social media such as your address, contact details or financial information. If you’re contacting a bank with a query, first double-check it’s the official social media account and then message them privately – don’t share any personal details beyond a phone number or email address. Use the privacy settings on social media platforms, such as two-step authentication, to prevent scammers from gaining access to your information, and change your passwords regularly. The fewer details scammers can find out about you, the harder it is for them to impersonate your bank or commit identity fraud. 

Use official online resources

Official websites such as HMRC, Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice have a wealth of resources available on their websites, which give detailed guidance and best practice on how to avoid scams. Use online searches to look up unknown phone numbers and compare them against legitimate contact details on official websites, such as the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

If you ever need further advice or spot an unfamiliar product on a suspicious website with RCI Bank branding then please contact our customer service team on 0345 6056050 or email us at hello@rcibank.co.uk.

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