Suspicious emails & phone calls
Learn how to spot a fraudulent email or phone call, so you’re not reeled in.
What is phishing, vishing and smishing?
It’s all too easy to get caught out by email. Before you know it, you’ve shared your personal information or opened an attachment that contains malware; this is known as phishing. Vishing is when fraudsters try to extract personal details directly by phone, using social engineering techniques. Smishing is when a fraudster tries to trick you into providing personal or account information via text or SMS message (this can include texting you links to fraudulent sites or phone numbers to fake call centres).
Spotting and avoiding suspicious emails and phone calls
It's not always clear you're being targeted. Fraudsters will impersonate genuine organisations and firms to convince you to provide usernames, passwords for online accounts and emails. They may contact you to say they have concerns or inform you there is fraudulent activity on your account and then ask you to provide remote access to your computer or device. Be aware, trust your instincts and take your time. Don’t rush into providing any personal details or sending monies. It’s okay to hang up the phone, ignore emails and to obtain information by researching trusted sources.
Any message that says ‘Reply Now’ to avoid losing money, have your account deleted or access cut-off are designed to panic you. Stop. Take your time. Investigate.
Unexpected phone calls or emails
Don’t trust unexpected emails or cold call phone calls when trying to get you to reveal personal information or hand over money. Be suspicious and challenge.
Requests for personal information and passwords
Never confirm your password or login details via email or over the phone. If in doubt, find the official company website or contact information number independently and call to check.
Emails with suspicious or mismatched URLs
These may look valid but can be subtly different from the real website address. Hover your mouse over the link to reveal the actual destination address and check the details. If in doubt don't click.
Poor spelling or grammar in emails
Major organisations have legal, marketing and publicity checks. It’s rare their communications will carry these kinds of mistakes. Human error happens, so don’t base your decision on this alone.
Remote access requests
Never allow remote access or provide log in details for your secure Fidelity online accounts or your online banking
Other threats to look out for
Be wise. Don’t fall prey to too-good-to-be-true, high-pressure, deadline-driven offers.
All that glitters isn’t gold. Discover how to dig deeper and protect your pension with our tips.
Find out more about criminal influence, to ensure you’re in control of your financial purse strings.
Look beyond the disguise. Impersonation can be the first step to someone stealing your assets.