The next time you receive a request, by phone, text, or email, that requires you to take an action or verbally disclose information about yourself or your finances, alarm bells need to ring.
Criminals now use every means at their disposal to obtain details that will enable them, ultimately, to cause you financial harm. For example, they might:
- Pretend they are the tax office and offer you a tax refund or threaten you with legal action if you do not pay tax, you apparently owe.
- Pretend you have inherited from a distant relative and all you need to do is send them certain personal details.
- Call your mobile or landline using automated software and offer you some form of reward, financial penalty, or legal action unless you immediately select a number on your keypad.
With your personal details, name, address, etc., they can pretend they are you and borrow money in your name. With your bank details they can transfer money from your bank account.
Criminals can do this from the comfort of their homes, all they need is a computer. And so, be cautious when responding to any request for personal information or bank details. If in doubt, do not respond. Instead, contact a trusted adviser, call the tax office or your bank using contact details published on official websites.