Top tips to protect yourself from scams

Although the digital world can be a fantastic place, increased use of the internet and social media has led to a rise in fraud and scams. There are lots of different types of scams and these can be difficult to recognise. Keep reading to find out about the common signs of a scam and how you can keep yourself safe when online.

What is a scam?

A scam is a term used to describe any fraudulent business or scheme that takes money or other goods from a person. Scammers will encourage you to reveal your personal details or even trick you into willingly handing over large amounts of money.

Thanks to the internet, the world has become more connected and cases of online scams have increased. There are many different types of scam, from identity fraud to unexpected emails and phone calls. It’s important to stay cautious when using the internet and ask yourself, is this person who they say they are?

How can I recognise a scam?

Normally if something seems too good to be true, like a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect, it’s likely to be a scam. Some other signs of a scam may include, someone contacting you unexpectedly, being asked to give away personal information or being rushed to take an action.

It’s important to look out for suspicious email addresses and links and ask yourself, do these seem genuine? To ensure you stay safe when online, there are a few simple rules you should follow.

Never click on or download anything you don’t trust

You should be aware of suspicious emails, texts or pop-up windows that may include links or attachments. Links may seem genuine but include random numbers and letters. You can double check the identity of the sender with a phone book or through an online search.  When online, make sure any websites you are using are secure by checking to see if the web address starts with HTTPS, not just HTTP.

Use strong passwords and update them regularly

Your passwords should include a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Try not to use the same password for multiple websites and don’t share your passwords with anyone.

Never give out personal information

Be cautious if someone contacts you unexpectedly asking for personal information such as your address, phone number, or online banking details, as scammers can use this information to steal your identity or access your bank accounts.

Keep virus protection software up to date

Make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software installed. Don’t ignore updates as these can often include patches to protect against new kinds of scams and viruses. This goes for mobile devices as well.

Trust your gut

If you’re feeling pressured or something just doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to say no and take yourself out of the situation. If you’ve had a call or email from someone saying they’re from Victory Homes but you’re not quite sure, give us a call and we’ll talk it through.

Want to know more?

We’re always here to answer your questions, so if you have any concerns or would like some more information, please get in touch with us. You can also find lots of helpful resources on the safety and wellbeing page of our website. To find out more, you can watch this short video from our Housing Team Leader, Gemma!