Stay Safe, Stay hi

Last updated on 26 September, 2023

Welcome! Here you'll find some useful tips to protect your identity and funds online. Please spend some time reading it.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Instead of relying on contact numbers or information provided to you, stick to publicly available information or contact details you've used in the past.
  • Always utilize unique passcodes for different websites and apps.
  • Never share your passwords with anyone, including family members.
  • Avoid entering passcodes if you're being observed or there's a chance that others might see them.
  • Employ biometric features, like face ID or fingerprint recognition, to safeguard your phone and banking apps.
  • Refrain from using simple or easily guessable passwords/passcodes such as "12345678," pet names, birthdates, or last names.
  • Never disclose the one-time verification code sent to your mobile phone to anyone. Financial institutions' employees will not contact you to request this code; it's most likely a scam. This code is strictly confidential and sent only for transaction authorization/verification.
  • Take your time; fraudsters often act swiftly to prevent you from thinking critically or questioning their actions. Avoid rushing into providing personal details or engaging in transactions unless you are absolutely certain they are legitimate. Criminals are the ones who rush you or induce panic.
  • Remember that just because someone knows your personal details doesn't mean they represent a legitimate financial institution or organization. Keep this in mind when interacting with them.
  • Be cautious of promotions on social media, as fraudsters may use these platforms or even famous individuals to endorse their products. Always verify the legitimacy of the merchant or website and conduct online research before proceeding.

What to do if you suspect you are being scammed or your personal details are compromised?

If you are still in communication with the scammer, disconnect the call immediately. You can always terminate the call and contact the organization again by using their official support phone number or sending an email.

Access your online banking account through the official website or app. From there, you can suspend or block your card within the app and change your passwords.

Reach out to the customer support team via phone or messaging to receive further guidance on the necessary steps. Provide them with as much detail as possible about the situation.

When funds have been transferred to a fraudster's account, they typically move them within minutes, making tracing and recovery very challenging. Time is crucial in such situations.

Money Muling. A person has asked you to receive money on their behalf and send it to another bank account.

This activity is commonly known as "Money Muling" and is highly likely to be illegal, often connected to money laundering. Criminals frequently employ this method to attempt to legitimize their illicitly acquired funds, the proceeds of illegal activities, by involving you as an accomplice in introducing the money into the financial system, making it appear as if it originates from a legitimate and unrelated source.

You may inadvertently become a "money mule" if someone requests that you hold their funds in your bank account, thus unwittingly facilitating serious and organized criminal activities.

Young individuals and students are frequently targeted with the enticing promise of easy money. Nevertheless, holding or transferring illicit funds is itself a criminal act, carrying a potential maximum prison sentence of 14 years and the possibility of acquiring a criminal record if prosecuted.


This is a scenario where scammers send you a message, typically via email or text, requesting that you click on a link to update your information, such as changing your password.

The message will often appear to be from a reputable and trusted entity that you regularly engage with, such as telecommunications or utility companies, tax authorities, or financial institutions. However, the information you provide in response to this request allows the scammer to gain unauthorized access to your account.

What should I look out for, or consider suspicious?

  • Be cautious of messages urging you to click on links, download apps, or provide personal information.
  • Watch out for messages with typos, grammatical errors, or a generally unprofessional appearance.
  • Be aware that email addresses or website links may appear similar but slightly different from the genuine ones. Sophisticated scammers can manipulate caller ID names on phone numbers.
  • Exercise caution with offers that seem "too good to be true," such as lottery winnings, unexpected gifts, vouchers, cash prizes, or highly attractive job offers that you didn't apply for.
  • Be skeptical of requests to update personal information via email, especially if the legitimate business should already have this information, including your name, date of birth, email, address, card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords, and other details.
  • Legitimate financial organizations will not ask you to install apps or download software to file complaints, claim payments, receive refunds, or access customer support.
  • Be cautious of calls from official authorities or trusted organizations, like your bank, claiming that your account has been targeted by fraudsters and insisting you must transfer your funds to a "protected" account or wallet immediately.
  • Beware of emails or messages offering discounts on electricity and gas bills, often containing a link where you're asked to enter personal details. These details are typically used for fraudulent purposes.

Could your emails have been compromised?

If scammers are able to gain access to email accounts they:

  • Have access to a significant portion of your personal information, they may possess the capability to reset passwords and gain entry to the services you typically utilize. This could extend to your banking applications, granting them access to your financial resources. 
  • Additionally, they can send emails while impersonating you, for instance, by altering bank details on invoices and rerouting payments to their own accounts

Identity theft – If individuals with malicious intent gain access to a sufficient amount of your personal information, they could potentially apply for various products, such as loans or credit cards, using your identity.

Social Engineering

Fraudsters are continually devising new methods to gain access to or compromise your personal information, and this may include exploiting the information you share on social media. They use this information to persuade you that they represent a legitimate organization, such as your bank. For instance, a scammer might reach out, pretending to be from your bank, and inform you of recent overseas payments they claim to have noticed. This is done to gain your trust, even though they've actually acquired this information from your social media accounts.

Furthermore, these fraudsters may craft fraudulent profiles and engage in conversations designed to coax personal information from you. Subsequently, they might pass or sell this information to other fraudsters who will then use it to further convince you of their authenticity.

Advanced Fee Fraud

This refers to a situation in which a fraudster focuses on individuals, urging them to make advance or upfront payments for products, services, or financial benefits that ultimately do not materialize. This can take the form of demanding payment in advance for shipping goods or requesting an administration fee to release certain goods. Unfortunately, in many cases, individuals who make such payments never receive the promised goods or services.

Investment scams

These fraudulent schemes take various forms, often involving online financial trading platforms that encourage individuals to "invest" in Forex, Contracts for Differences (CFDs), Binary Options, and Cryptocurrency. These platforms frequently tout the potential for exceptional returns through their "advisors" and trading systems.

It's important to note that the vast majority of these platforms are not regulated, and if you lose your funds, you may have no recourse for recovery.

If someone urges you to transfer money for an investment but asks you to provide your bank with a different reason to ensure a "smoother" transaction, be cautious. Fraudsters are aware that payments for "investments" may attract greater scrutiny from your bank, and they will attempt to avoid this scrutiny.

Fraudsters might also request that you download a "trading" software, ostensibly to access your devices and move your money without your knowledge.

Additionally, these scammers may impersonate well-known individuals on social media or in messaging groups to make their offers appear legitimate and more enticing.

Cryptocurrency scams

There are numerous ways in which cryptocurrencies are exploited to facilitate fraud and enable criminals to swiftly move money worldwide while concealing its source. Many of these methods resemble those used in traditional payment and banking systems, but there are some additional risks to be aware of.

One critical distinction is that cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated, which means there are fewer protections and avenues for recourse. Due to the anonymity associated with cryptocurrencies, you might unknowingly transfer cryptocurrency directly to a scammer, often through impersonation fraud, deceptive investment or business opportunities, or other malicious methods.

Investments tied to cryptocurrencies, such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have provided even more opportunities for scammers to exploit. For instance, some scammers create fraudulent websites for ICOs and instruct users to deposit cryptocurrency into a compromised wallet. In other cases, the ICO itself may be fraudulent.

It's important to remember that no legitimate business will insist on you sending cryptocurrency in advance—whether it's for a purchase or to safeguard your funds.

Never permit anyone to establish a cryptocurrency wallet, upload your ID documents, or manage your investments on your behalf. If you don't have exclusive knowledge of the wallet password or key, your wallet's security is compromised.

Exercise caution when dealing with individuals who promise quick and easy profits in the cryptocurrency markets.

Always remain vigilant against romance scams, where fraudsters may simulate a romantic relationship with you and persuade you to send them funds via cryptocurrency or invest in cryptocurrency.

Friendly fraud – what is it and what can be the consequences?

Friendly fraud occurs when a cardholder or account holder attempts to misuse the refund or chargeback process by falsely claiming that they didn't authorize or carry out a transaction that was, in fact, legitimately authorized.

Every report of fraud or unauthorized transactions is thoroughly examined and validated by the relevant department. It's important to note that the circumstances of each case are carefully investigated. If the investigation determines that the transaction was properly authorized, then the recall or dispute will not be considered valid, regardless of whether it was initiated by:

  • The cardholder themselves.
  • Individuals who had permission from the cardholder to make the claim.
  • Individuals who possessed information enabling them to use the cardholder's payment instrument (e.g., family members who knew the CVV code on the card and had access to the cardholder's mobile phone).
  • Consequences of a fraudulent recall can include account termination, additional fees for making false claims, and potential referral to fraud agencies and law enforcement.