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Top tips for avoiding online scams

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Online banking offers ease, simplicity and convenience so it’s no wonder 7 out of 10 people are logging on to manage their finances. However, online fraud is growing and UK consumers lost over £1.2 Billion to scams in 2018. Here’s some simple steps you can take to stay ahead of the scammers.

1. Plenty of phish in the sea

One of the most common and effective ways scammers try and gain unsuspecting consumers’ data is by using a technique called ‘phishing’. This is where scammers send out a fake email to gain private information or infect your device with malicious software known as malware. One of the methods scammers use is posing as a legitimate business and asking you to click a link, using attention-grabbing phrases such as ‘unauthorised activity on your account’ or by offering a fantastic market-beating savings rate. It’s important to always think carefully before clicking any link. Paragon will never ask you to follow a log-in link via email. For more information about phishing take a look at our blog article which includes tips on avoiding phishing email scams.  

2. Dear who?

As an award-winning bank, we take care of our customers and treat each customer with the respect they deserve. That’s why we will only use your name when contacting you and will never use ‘Dear Customer, Sir or Madam’. If you receive an unsolicited email that uses those greetings, then further inspection and caution is required.

3. If it’s personal, keep it personal

When being asked or pressured to disclose personal information via email or phone, you’re almost guaranteed to be on the wrong end of a scam. Paragon will never ask for information such as your password or your full memorable data, it’s important to never give those details out and always keep them secret.

4. The secret is in the ‘S’

Sophisticated scammers are increasingly cloning company websites so the consumer believes they are engaging with the genuine business, whereas they are visiting an identical-looking fraudulent site. One sure way of knowing if it’s fake is by looking at the web address. If a website has ‘http’ instead of the secure ‘https’ at the beginning it means that it is not a secure website and it could be stealing your data or trying to trick you into sending money. Our website is https://www.paragonbank.co.uk/ whereas a fake website may be http://www.paragonbanking.com. It’s important to notice the key differences as the wrong website could cost you thousands.

5. Public WIFI makes for public viewing

We suggest to never use online banking or make any financial transactions via public WIFI as this can easily be pocketed by those wishing to steal your information. Although it may be convenient to connect to the train or café WIFI, we advise that you don’t use any website or services that require you to enter in private information. It pays to be careful and wait until you reach a secure network.

We take the safety and privacy of our customers very seriously. If you are unsure about a communication that has been sent to you under the name of Paragon, then please contact our customer services team. You can find further information on staying safe online on the government backed website Take Five to Stop Fraud.

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Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551