Fraud and Scam Alert

At Castlefield we take your security very seriously. Cybercrime fraud is a real and increasing threat, particularly with the risk of criminals intercepting emails and fraudulently changing legitimate personal details with the objective of stealing your information.

It is more important than ever to stay safe online, especially when you receive unsolicited communications. These could be via e-mail, telephone, letter or even via text message. You may even receive unsolicited messages on social media or through other means such as WhatsApp from individuals purporting to be people you know. The purpose of these communications can often be to obtain your personal information in an effort to steal your identity or ask you to transfer monies to a third party unexpectedly to settle a bill.

It is important to stay alert when you receive these communications, to ensure that you don’t pass on your information to someone who doesn’t have a purpose to obtain it. If you are concerned about any correspondence that you receive that purports to be from Castlefield, please do get in touch with your usual Castlefield contact or call our main office number on 0161 233 4890 and one of our co-owners will be able to discuss things with you.

There are a number of resources available online to support individuals to become make more informed choices online whilst avoiding potential scams, staying safe online and gaining an understanding of different financial products.

A selection of these resources and scenarios to be aware of are below.


InvestSmart
The FCA’s InvestSmart site aims to help investors to make better informed investment decisions and become smarter investors. The website provides descriptions of different types of investments, what to look out for and what regulatory protections there are when you invest.
https://www.fca.org.uk/investsmart

ScamSmart
The FCA’s ScamSmart site aims to help investors avoid various kinds of scams, along with providing the facility to report a scam to the FCA. The website has guides amount pension and investment scams and provides a list of the most commonly searched for scams.
https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
The NCSC website provides advice, guidance, education and information on a variety of subjects which help individuals and businesses of all sizes protect themselves online and understand the risks associated with using technology online. The website also allows you to report cyber related incidents to help tackle them.

The NCSC recognises firms who take steps to protect their businesses against cyber related threats through various accreditations. One of which is Cyber Essentials Plus, this is an accreditation that Castlefield has chosen to achieve to help us demonstrate to our clients that we have defences in place that will protect our business (and your data!) from the vast majority of common cyber attacks, with a hands on technical verification undertaken to achieve the accreditation.
https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/

MoneyHelper
MoneyHelper is provided by the Money & Pension Service and brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers; the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and The Pensions Advisory Service. These free to access services provide guides to help improve finances, provides tools and calculators to help track and plan ahead and provides support over the telephone online and over the telephone.
https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en

 

Scenarios to be aware of

It is important to be aware of scenarios that you could be subjected to which are used to obtain your information. You may receive requests that match these scenarios that could be genuine. These examples aren’t intended to be exhaustive but the key points to remember are:

  • Do not be afraid to ask as many questions you need to satisfy yourself the request is genuine
  • Trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, do not proceed
  • Use publicly available resources to verify contact firms if you’re unsure

 

Method of approach

Action you can take

Unexpected contact

If you’re not expecting contact from a firm and you’re unsure about it, end the call and contact the firm directly using contact details that are available from the public website.

In addition, you can use the link below or search for ‘FCA Warning List’ will take you to a page dedicated to listing firms acting without authorisation or where scams have been identified. 

https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/about-fca-warning-list

Requests to provide your PIN or password

Genuine organisations e.g. banks, building societies, the police etc. will never ask for these details.

They will also never ask you to transfer funds over the telephone or withdraw them from your bank account to give to someone else.

Requests for personal details or financial information

Unless this relates to a service you are engaging with, you should not provide any personal or financial information. Ask questions about the request if you’re unsure about the purpose of the request. If you’re not happy with the response then decline to provide the information.

Promising returns, that sound too good to be true

If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Trust your instincts;  do not proceed and seek advice from a trusted adviser.

Minimises discussions around the risks involved

If you are told not to worry about the risks associated with an investment, do not simply accept it to be true.

 

A financial adviser will explain the risks relevant to your investment before you make an investment. If you are making your own investment decisions, conduct your own research to make sure you’re comfortable with the risks

Exclusive offers

Any suggestion that an offer is exclusive to you, or if you are asked not to tell anyone about an opportunity, this can be a clear sign the opportunity is not genuine. 

Pressured sales

Don’t be pressured into accepting an offer that is time-limited or that makes available a bonus or discount before a set date.  Genuine regulated businesses will give you time to think and their communications will clearly explain any cut off periods. 

Persistent calls and attempts to form relationships to build trust

Be cautious when it comes to repeat callers and attempts to keep you on the phone for long periods.  These can be signs that the caller is seeking to gain your trust.

Requests to make or verify changes on your account

If you are asked to make or verify changes, you should confirm with your provider, using trusted contacted details, what you are being asked to do. 

Recovery services offered after a successful fraud

If you have been the victim of fraud, the same fraudsters may contact you offering to recover stolen funds on payment of an upfront fee.  Do not pay any further monies away. 

 

Should you receive any emails that you are not expecting from Castlefield then do not open them or download any attachments and get in touch through the normal channels as below.  

Take extra care in only selecting our website links directly from www.castlefield.com, contact us www.castlefield.com/contact-us or phone us directly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any concerns.