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With the festive season fast approaching, and thoughts turning to treating friends and family, it’s important to stay alert when it comes to keeping your money safe. Urgent requests, unbelievable bargains and copycat websites are all tactics to trick you. So taking a moment to stop and think can help you beat scammers at their own game.

Things banks will never do

Ask you to transfer money

Legitimate bank would never ask you to transfer money out of your account. Scammers might claim you need to move money to keep it safe. They also might remind you about a text message link you clicked a few days ago. This is part of the same scam. If you’re ever moving money, make sure it’s on your terms, nobody else’s.

Demand your PIN or personal information

You should never reveal your PIN, PINsentry codes, Activation codes, QR activation codes or Online Banking passcodes to anyone. Banks don’t need this information from you, it’s yours. This sort of request may come via an unexpected text with a link, or a cold call asking you to reveal personal and security details.

Request remote access to your devices

There is no need for anyone from your bank to have remote access to your smartphone, computer or tablet. Banks will never ask to view your online banking.

Tell you what to say

If someone asks you to lie to members of staff about payments, or tells you what options to select when making a payment, it’s a scam.

Be wary of festive fraudsters

As you start to think about your Christmas shopping, scammers will be too. ’Tis the season for shoppers to be targeted – here’s what to look out for.

Fake adverts and deals

If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers know people are looking for a bargain at Christmas time, so they’ll try and hook you in with deals on everything from cars to game consoles and mobile phones. Stay alert to what you click through to, especially on social media. Before committing to any purchase, do your research.

Websites URLs

Always check the URL of the site you’re on when online shopping – scam sites can often look genuine. Always look out for extra full stops and dashes. Scammers will target you with a professional looking advert, and then send you through to a copycat website. Don’t feel rushed into a purchase – be sure to stop and think before you buy and ensure the website you’re ordering from is legitimate.

Editor in Chief | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief of Ikon London Magazine, journalist, film producer and founder of The DAFTA Film Awards (The DAFTAs).