The amount of money lost each year to online scams is immense. Estimates differ as to exactly how much, but it is safe to say that it amounts to billions of pounds EVERY YEAR!
If I had a pound for every time I have been spammed by a friend whose computer had been compromised, then I'd be, well, richer than I am now! I have always been quite cynical about these episodes, assuming this was down to the technological ineptitude of my friends. But there are plenty of clever people trying to separate you from your money online, and they are using ever more subtle techniques to get you to hand over your details. So now, more than ever, it is essential to be aware, and to be careful online.
Those of us with elderly parents obviously need to help them be aware of the possibility of falling victim to online fraud too. Generally speaking, they are less likely to be aware of the most common scams, and recent research by Santander shows that only one in five of us actively warn our parents about new scams. I imagine this is because we ourselves are unaware of them.
The moral of this story? We need to be aware of the dangers ourselves, and be diligent in sharing this information with our loved ones.
There are plenty of great resources out there to help identify the most up-to-date scams and protect your finances online. Santander has a great page about keeping your credit card and other financial details safe.
There is also a PDF cheat-sheet about protecting yourself against scams. This could be printed and kept near your computer for reference.
You can never be too careful with this stuff. Be informed, be wise, be safe – and spread the word.
This post is sponsored by Santander