Beware of online scams! Scammers can contact you claiming to be from your bank and steal your money. Know how to stay safe.
If you lose your hard-earned money to scammers and fraudsters, you will not only suffer financially, but you will also be devastated and the future of your business in limbo as a huge financial loss can even mean shutting down. Something similar has happened to a 28-year-old woman named Kristina Belkaite, who runs a street stall with business partner Fabien Battu. According to a report from The Sun, both business partners lost more than £24,700 to scammers in June and are now under stress on whether they will be able to keep the company afloat.
The scammers fooled them by claiming that they called from their bank, Tide, and said that hackers had compromised their account and to keep their money safe, the business partners will have to open a new bank account. Belkaite and Battu were suspicious of the call, but were persuaded when they saw that the caller had personal information, such as transaction details, and sounded professional.
According to the report, the fraudster sent them an email with a QR code in it to open a new bank account and keep their money safe. Once they scanned the QR code, the scammer was able to access their account. “The scammer has made a bank transfer to transfer £24,700 to the so-called ‘secure’ account,” the Sun report said.
The fraudster went on to say that the new card and account information would be in the mail in a few days. However, later the business partners realized that they had been cheated and lost their hard-earned money.
They logged into their Tide app to report the fraud and the bank is now offering a full refund plus £500 in compensation.
Although Belkaite and Battu got their money back, that’s not always the case. Therefore, it is advised to be very careful and aware before clicking on any suspicious link. Here are some points to keep in mind to stay alert and protected from fraudsters.
How to protect yourself from online scams
1. Check the background of the callers or their email address to make sure they are authentic officers of the bank or not.
2. Cross-check by calling your bank (make sure to use the phone number of the bank’s official website). You can also go to the bank if you wish.
3. If you believe you have been scammed, you must report it to your bank immediately.
4. A bank will never call you with such an excuse and will never ask you for your username, bank account number, password, QR code or offer to transfer your money to a new account.