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How to Spot a Scam Email

Take Five to stop fraud

The ‘Take Five’ campaign has been featuring prominently across the media this winter. Run by Financial Fraud Action UK – which represents banks and financial companies - it encourages the public to be vigilant about scams.

Step back and think

The campaign highlights how criminals play on fear and create a sense of urgency to make victims act without thinking.

Typically, they claim a customer’s money is at risk and advise quick action is needed to safeguard funds.

The campaign reminds people to always take a step back and think about what is being asked of them.

Requests to move money to a ‘safe account’ and demands for personal information should all sound alarm bells. Customers should also watch out for fake links embedded in emails.

Review the advice

Alongside the TV and social media activity, there’s also a wealth of advice on the campaign website broken down by category to help people spot phone, text, email, online and other scams.

For example, this is Take Five’s seven top tips on how to spot a scam email:

  1. The sender’s address doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from. Roll your mouse pointer over the sender’s name to reveal its true address.
  2. The email doesn’t use your proper name – using something like “Dear customer” instead.
  3. There’s a sense of urgency, asking you to act immediately.
  4. There’s a prominent website link which may seem like the proper address, but with one character different.
  5. There’s a request for personal information.
  6. There are spelling and grammatical errors.
  7. The entire text of the email is within an image rather than the usual text format and the image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site. Again roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination.

Take the test

Once you’ve read through all the advice - or if you think you’re pretty good already - check how up-to-date you are by taking the Take Five, 'Too Smart to be Scammed?' test.

The test gives you eight different text and email message scenarios and asks you to see if you can spot the scams.

It’s a quick and a fun way to find out just how scam smart you are.

Find out more

To find out more about online security at Paragon, visit our Helpful information FAQs, 'Keeping you and your money safe and secure'.

09 January 2018

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

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