With fraudulent behaviour at an all-time high, it’s important that we take time to familiarise ourselves with the signs of a scam and how to deal with it.
Some scams, are of course, more obvious than others, but it’s the new creative attempts to rob us of our money that we must all be on the lookout for. Phishing is a cyber-crime that uses disguised text messages and email as a weapon. The goal of the scammer is to trick you into believing that the message is something you want or need and is from a source they know or trust. For example, a request from your bank with a click to a link or a downloadable attachment or a notification to pay customs duties on a home delivery.
Speaking about the increase of scamming ploys and what we can do to protect ourselves, Frances Clifford, Kerry Citizens Information Manager said, “There is a big increase in the number of people contacting us about scams. Some can be quite obvious, while others can be very difficult to recognise.
If in doubt, do not open the message or email, click on the link, or engage in any way and don’t hesitate to contact the company to verify if the communication or message is real or not. If you have any concerns please contact your local Citizens Information Centre, we remain open and are here to answer any questions you may have.”
Scammers are cunning and believe that they are above the law, this is why we must be one step ahead of them at all times and know the signs, and how to protect ourselves from scams. Be very cautious of;
● Unsolicited contact from a company out of the blue
● A deal that seems too good to be true
● You are asked to share personal details
● You are being pressured to respond quickly or transfer money quickly
● You have been asked to pay by an unusual method, for example through a transfer service like Western Union or virtual currency like Bitcoin
● Misspellings or grammatical mistakes
● Unusual email addresses
For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, they can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively people can email on firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information and contact details.