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Wellbeing

New scams target Lloyds and Amazon customers

Posted 17 December 2016 by Christine Walsh

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Make sure you protect yourself against the latest scamming techniques.

An important part of good money management is keeping your money safe from fraudsters and scammers. With this in mind, we like to keep you up to date with the latest techniques scammers are using, so you can prepare yourself should you find yourself a target.

New scams targeting Lloyds and Amazon customers have recently come to light – this is how they work and how you can protect yourself.


The Lloyds letter scam

With this scam, people who bank with Lloyds are receiving letters in the post that look like they are from the bank. The letter will say that there have been a number of unusual transactions on your account and will ask you to call a 0843 number so that you can confirm with the bank whether these transactions are genuine.

Customers who have received these letters have noted how convincing they are – they look almost identical to genuine letters, and they are ‘signed’ by a customer relationship manager. Crucially however, they do not contain any account details.

When customers call the number provided, they are asked to enter their account number and sort code by an automatic message. They are then asked to input the first and last digit of their security PIN – the message will tell them that it didn’t match (even if it did) and will ask for the third and fifth digits as well.

Some customers have then been put through to a convincing sounding advisor, who then asks for further personal details, like an address and the long card number.

As you can see, this is a particularly convincing scam and customers could easily find themselves unwittingly giving away lots of sensitive information if they fall foul of it. If you receive a letter like this, or you have any suspicions about another letter, email or call you’ve received claiming to be from your bank, you should call the customer service number that’s on the back of your card to check whether it’s genuine.


The Amazon email scam

Scammers have been sending emails to thousands of Amazon customers in the run up to Christmas. The email tells customers there has been a problem with a recent order and that if they don’t confirm certain information, they will lose access to their account.

The email includes a link, but instead of the link taking you to Amazon, it takes you to a fake site created by the scammers. The customer is then asked to type in their account details to ‘re-verify’ their account.

Scammers have timed this email perfectly, as there will be lots of people around this time of year that won’t want to lose access to their account, as they will be relying on it to send Christmas presents to family and friends.

The powers at be at Amazon have released advice on how to avoid falling victim to false emails. According to them, the safest thing you can do if you receive an email like this is to go directly to your Amazon account to review it. Here you’re able to make any changes to your account or personal details, if in fact this is necessary.

Another thing to bear in mind, is that Amazon will never ask for your bank account number, PIN number or passwords. You should also check the address that the email was sent for, if it doesn’t end with ‘@amazon.com’, ‘@amazon.lu’ or ‘@amazon.co.uk’, then it’s not genuine.

If you receive a suspicious looking email, you shouldn’t follow any links or open any attachments as a rule, because they may infect your computer with malware.

You can also find out about the TV license scam on our blog, as well as how to protect your money online.

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.