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Be Scam Aware – Advice for Scam Victims
Scams are on the rise; people are unsettled and anxious at the moment for many reasons, and there are many unscrupulous people looking to take advantage of that. We always think it won’t be us; that it’ll happen to someone else – but the truth is, however careful you are online, there is always a risk.

 

Of course, as an IT security and IT support provider, it is our job to help our clients keep themselves safe, and to help them reduce collateral damage and to help them recover if they unfortunately do happen to become a scam or hacking victim. This week, we’ll be looking at some of the practical steps you can take if you have been (or think you might have been) caught by a scam.

 

 

 

None of us want to think that we’d fall for a scam – but as scammers’ methods become more complex and more difficult to detect, it can and does happen. It’s important if you think you might have fallen victim to a scam that you seek out help as soon as possible – don’t wait and see. We understand that it can be a bit embarrassing to admit you might have fallen for a scam, but as always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The first step if you’re on a device you use for business is to contact your IT support team or administrator. They are best placed to help you ascertain if you have indeed been a victim of a scam – and what steps you should take next if you have.

If it’s a personal device – not to worry. There are still steps you can take. If you’re one of our clients, you can still call us for advice! We’ll see what we can do.

 

What you can do – tips for if you think you’ve been scammed:

 

Don’t panic! – Scammers rely on this sense of panic to exploit you further. Try to think calmly and assess the situation. All is not lost!

 

Disconnect from the internet – turn off the WiFi or internet connection on your device, temporarily. This can help if you think you might have malware on your device such as a keylogger or trojan.

 

Contact relevant parties – This depends on the type of scam you might have fallen victim to.

  • If it’s Amazon or another online retailer, contact their customer support directly and tell them you think you might have been the victim of a scam.
  • If it’s an online banking scam, contact your bank straight away. All UK banks should have a specialist fraud team who will be able to assist you.
  • If it’s an HMRC or a medical scam, contact HMRC directly or the Police on a non-emergency number such as 101 – they will be able to point you in the right direction.

 

Change your Passwords – If you feel you might have been a victim of a phishing scam designed to steal your account for a site such as Amazon or eBay, it is imperative that you change your password as soon as possible. We’d recommend using a password manager such as LastPass to help you generate and store passwords. Don’t use a password more than once – if you’ve used the password for the compromised account elsewhere, change that password too.

 

Install antimalware software on your device – if you don’t already have  one installed, software like Malwarebytes can scan your devices for free and help you clean up any infected files. Beware of fake versions of this kind of software – this can lead to further problems. Only download files from a verified source – for example, Malwarebytes’ official website, which can be found by clicking here.

ALWAYS contact your IT support provider or the owner for advice before downloading any software to a managed device or a device you do not own.

 

Contact someone you trust – We’d always advise going to the professionals first, but a friend or family member might be able to help you in a pinch.

 

Check your bank accounts regularly – If you notice unknown charges on your credit or debit cards, contact your bank straight away. There are various systems and protocols in place to help scam victims, and wherever possible, recover any funds that have been stolen.

 

If there has been a crime committed, or you think that you may be in danger, call the Police on 999 in an emergency or on 101 if it’s less urgent.

 

 Need assistance with suitable security measures to avoid email scams? Need help improving your overall security? We can help! Give us a call on 0121 312 1500 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk
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