Santander: Outage map shows users having banking issues
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Social engineering is a fraud tactic that makes victims share personal information or perform actions that benefit the scammer without knowing. It can be difficult for some victims to recognise that they are in a social engineering scam until it’s too late.
One pensioner explained how she was duped out of more than £800 after falling for a “highly believable” call from a man posing as an employee at a mobile phone giant.
“This man had access to all of my account details and was able to tell me very precise details about the payments I was making,” the 73 year old told Ayrshire Live.
She continued: “I would like to think that I ask a lot of questions and wouldn’t fall for a scam, so this was very unsettling.
“When I became suspicious and eventually found out I had been scammed, I was angry that anyone could have access to such details in the first place.
“It is appalling that this type of person is out there and willing to try and profit from other people.”
Santander warns: “Criminals use sophisticated techniques, invoking fear, panic or building a friendship.”
Usually, these manipulative techniques are aimed to make the victim do something they wouldn’t normally take action on.
This can include:
- Sending a payment without verifying the account
- Allowing the scammer access to their devices
- Giving personal or security information.
The victim, who asked not to be named, told how she was asked to download an app on her phone that allowed her scammer to gain access to all sorts of confidential information.
Santander warn there has been a rise phone call and email scams pretending to be from banks or other financial bodies, advising people that their accounts have been compromised. This is often called a safe account scam.
The calls request an immediate transfer of funds into an account the scammer provides.
The bank cites remote access scams as a form of social engineering, when fraudsters use legitimate apps in a bid to appear more genuine.
These scams see the fraudster impersonate official organisations and persuade victims to give them remote control of their personal computer.
It adds: “They do this by asking you to download a legitimate app such as TeamViewer or AnyDesk, or by simply getting you to click on a link.
“You should never allow remote access to your devices unless you have verified that the caller is genuine and trusted.”
Santander notes if a victim happens to grant access to the scammer they should never open banking apps or windows.
This is because remote access provides the scammer with full view and access to a person’s computer screen. Fraudsters also utilise emails, text or phone calls as part of “social engineering” scams.
Santander warns: “Never reply or act on anything without verifying that it’s from a legitimate source.”
In some cases banks may not be able to refund a victims’ lost money if they did not take necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim in the first place.
People who believe they may have fallen victim to a scam are urged to contact their bank or building society as soon as possible and report it to Action Fraud.
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