‘A fool and his money are soon parted’ is an old English proverb that we do well to remember. Originally it would have meant that it’s foolish to pay over the odds or buy poor quality stuff that doesn’t last, and that fools squander whatever money they have or are conned out of it. These days there are more ways than ever for people to be relieved of their money and modern technology is a great tool for fraudsters.
In fact there are so many scams around that it is sometimes difficult to know if you can trust anybody at all. There is the telephone scam, for instance, when you get a call from someone posing as your bank who invites you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’. Don’t trust ‘em! They’re trying to pressure you to transfer your hard-earned into their accounts.
Have you ever had one of those emails telling you that a friend – whose name you recognise – is stuck abroad. Please send them money urgently as their credit cards, air tickets and the rest have been stolen and they are penniless in foreign parts. Ignore ‘em! It’s a con.
What about those calls claiming to be from a telecoms or computer company telling you that they can fix your slow running computer and asking you to log on to your online banking? Trust ‘em? Never! You can be sure they’re after your personal and security data and will try to load your machine with malicious software if you give them a chance.
Then there is phishing, payment redirection scams and various sales related scams…
Our advice is: Be extremely wary at all times, never give out security information, and delete any suspect emails without opening attachments or replying to them. Banks will never ask you for your PIN number or full passcode or to surrender your card, and neither will the police. Keep all your software updated, learning a lesson from the recent NHS ransomware attack, and be sure you have anti-virus protection.