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LCG Group Warns Clients of the Dangers of Social Media
Could an innocuous message sent to you on social media lead to you falling victim of frauds? How criminals are using false online profile to scam the general public.
By: LC Group
· - Many people are not aware how dangerous it is to have their full name, date-of-birth and geographical location posted online
· - During 2016, ID fraud reached record highs, with social media fueling the fire
The team at LCG have noticed increasing amounts of clients that have fallen foul of internet identity theft. This has stemmed from giving away too much information on social media websites including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Steven Harris Lead Wealth Manager for the Asia Pacific Team at LCG stated, "It is simple for fraudsters to piece together an individual's information from the various social media websites that are prolific nowadays. In most cases they can easily collect enough details to make applications for financial products leaving them as victims."
The situation has become so bad that Barclays recently launched a TV advertising campaign to highlight the issue. The advert shows just how quickly the criminals can gleam information including their marks name, date of birth and address to then use for spurious purposes.
Steven went on to say, "Innocent things such as wishing a friend happy birthday on social media can give the fraudsters an individual's day of the month. By using other online tools the year can be easily confirmed. Social media is a fantastic way of keeping up-to-speed with family and friends, however everyone needs to remain diligent and avoid sharing key personal information which could be of assistance to those that intentions are not good."
"Our team has been advising our clients to take simple steps such as making profiles private, to think carefully about what they post and vetting friendship requests. The way that I look at it is if you do not follow some simple steps then by leaving your social media profile open is like parking your car and leaving the keys in the ignition, with the engine running and the doors and windows open."
Industry research which was conducted by Cifas (The Fraud Protection Service) published figures that illustrated ID scams reached a record level during 2016 with almost 175,000 cases reported in the United Kingdom alone. This figure counts for more than half of all financial scams.
"It is for this very reason that the team at this end are not allowed to use LinkedIn and the like. The fact is that this type of crime is not limited to age, profession or geographical location. Fraudsters are organized and spend the time needed to get to know those that they are planning to steal from so that they can effectively commit the crime," added Steven.
The IT team at LCG advise that as a start social media users should generate individual and complicated passwords for all their accounts to keep the criminals at bay as a start.
The figures are concerning to say the least; during 2016 individuals in the UK alone lost £2.1million every day. That is a staggering £769million in one year and this is just in the United Kingdom.
Steven finished off by saying, "Our research indicates that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our advice is to tread carefully when dealing with publically available information. Review both your and your family members privacy settings on a regular basis, making sure that you do not post anything on social media that you do not want to fall into the wrong hands."
If you would like any further information on this article or would like to establish how the LC Group could assist you, your family and/or your business secure a brighter financial future then simply send us an email and arrange an appointment to speak to one of the team.