How to avoid and prevent spam, phishing and fraud

     
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If you receive a message requesting personal or financial information such as personal security details, bank details or passwords, be aware that it could be fraudulent.

 

This is called phishing (or smishing).

What is phishing or smishing?

What is phishing or smishing?

Phishing or smishing scams are emails, texts, voice calls or other messages made to look and sound like they've come from a trusted company and are designed to get hold of your personal information.

These messages can be very convincing and look or sound like genuine messages sent by organisations you already deal with, and may even appear within an existing message string from a known organisation.

Three signs a message might not be genuine:
  1.  

    it asks you to provide sensitive personal or financial information, passwords, or to make transactions by following a link in the message

  2.  

    it asks you to call a certain number but that number is unknown to you. In this case, call your bank on a number that you trust to check the number and message is authentic e.g. such as the number on the back of your card

  3.  

    the sender uses an urgent tone, telling you to "act now"

IMPORTANT:

We'll never ask you for your PIN or password by text or email. 

What should you do if you think you’ve received a suspicious message?
  1.  

    receiving a suspicious text, email or voice call will not harm you in anyway – harm can only come if you interact with it

  2.  

    don’t click on links unless you’re 100% sure they are genuine

  3.  

    take a moment to stop and think and trust your instincts. If it looks too good to be true or looks suspicious, there’s probably a catch

  4.  

    don’t give away any of your personal details

How to report suspicious phishing messages:
  1.  

    forward a text message (including phone number or company name) to 7726 free of charge, so your mobile phone provider can investigate

  2.  

    for emails, forward the message to the organisation that it claims to be from – you can look up the email address to send it to on that organisation’s website

  3.  

    you can also report instances of spam to the Information Commissioner’s Office or by calling 0303 123 1113

  4.  

    if you want to stop all unsolicited sales or marketing calls, call the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) on 0207 291 3320 or send a text message to 78070 (a small charge may apply)

For more information and support on phishing:
  1.  

    Take Five to Stop Fraud

  2.  

    FFA UK

  3.  

    Action Fraud

  4.  

    Get Safe Online

What is the password re-use scam?

What is the password re-use scam?

It's important to use different passwords for each website and app that you access. This will help reduce your risk of being targeted in a 'password re-use' scam. 

Fraudsters collect usernames and passwords that have been leaked from other websites, hoping that the same username and password will be used across all of a person’s online accounts and apps. If they can get into one, they can get into others. 

What is spam?

What is spam?

Spam is unsolicited junk mail or marketing emails which you haven’t agreed to receive.

Marketing material sent by companies that you’ve given your email address or phone number to, and where you've consented to receiving marketing messages is not spam.

Spam email tips:
  1.  

    only give your email address to people you know and trust

  2.  

    try setting up a separate email account for shopping online or registering with websites or forums, keeping your 'main' email address confidential

  3.  

    if a website asks you for your email address, they want to use it for something – make sure you know what

  4.  

    read the terms of use and privacy policy of any site before telling them your address

  5.  

    look for a checkbox that lets you opt-in or opt-out of marketing messages when registering on a website. Your email address could end up in the hands of marketing departments all over the globe

  6.  

    never respond to a spam email – this can verify your address to spammers. If you recognise it as spam, delete it immediately

  7.  

    never click the 'Unsubscribe' or 'Remove from mailing list' link in spam emails – this can verify your address to spammers or be used to collect details from your computer, install malicious programs or redirect you to explicit web pages

Spam text tips:
  1.  

    read any terms and conditions thoroughly before giving out your mobile phone number

  2.  

    be careful when ticking boxes when you’re offered additional marketing messages – you should be able to opt out 

  3.  

    never register with websites that promise to remove your details from spam lists – they’re not all legitimate and some use your details to send even more spam messages

  4.  

    ignore messages if you’re unsure who they’ve come from 

  5.  

    if you know the identity of the sender you can text STOP to the phone number or five-digit short code shown in the text message to opt out of future messages

  6.  

    you should tell the sender if you experience a problem with opting out and allow them time to put things right

  7.  

    don’t call the number in the text message as you may be charged at premium rate. If the message states to call or text a premium rate number or short code, you should report it to Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) (formerly ICSTIS)

How do I report spam messages?

How do I report spam messages?

Getting unwanted calls and texts? You can report them quickly and easily.

EE does not condone the sending of unsolicited commercial text messages without the recipient's consent. It’s unlawful business practice (and, obviously, quite irritating).

Reporting spam to EE:

To help keep these intrusive messages away, forward the message (including the phone number) to 7726. You can also forward voice spam calls, by sending voice spam and the number which called to 7726 (letters S.P.A.M on your keypad).

This will enable us to take early action to remove the numbers which are generating the spam from our network and help us shut down the spammers.

If you want to stop all unsolicited sales or marketing calls, call the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) on 0207 291 3320 or send a text message to 78070 (a small charge may apply). Or you could also report instances of spam to the Information Commissioner’s Office or by calling them on 0303 123 1113.

> Find out more about nuisance calls and texts from Ofcom

 
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Last updated: 5/10/2018
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