In terms of leaps forward for humankind Google maps is possibly up there with the discovery of fire, penicillin and DNA Double Helix. Okay, that maybe an overstatement but it’s a great tool that makes our lives a lot easier. However, fraudsters have found a way of corrupting it.
The details which appear for a business when you search on Google or Google Maps in the box include a telephone number. These details can be edited by anyone, a little bit like Wikipedia. Google do have a review process, but if the fraudster builds up a good enough record for legitimate edits, they can fool the process. So, the unsuspecting Google user could call, let’s say a bank, but really call a fraudster and give them all the details they need to empty your account.
Such crimes come under “Authorised Push Payment” category and according to UK Finance Data amounted to over £236 million in the UK in 2017.
WHEN USING GOOGLE GO TO THE BUSINESS’S WEBSITE FOR A CONTACT NUMBER, PARTICULARLY IF IT INVOLVES YOU GIVING ANY PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL DETAILS
Tips and Advice
- Go to Website – As above, click on the actual website to get the contact number
- Don’t – be pressured into acting quickly, this is a ‘red flag’ and sign of a scam
- Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are talking to
- Keep it secret! – Never reveal your passwords or account information to anyone. Your bank nor any other financial organisation will never ever ask you for them
- Google is aware! – Google have acknowledged the issue and are reviewing their process, meanwhile do not rely on them to keep you safe
- Still unsure. Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our Fraud Advisor’s will support you to avoid being a victim of a social media Fraud
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.
For further information or for advice and assistance regarding any potential scam, call Reassura on 0800 888 6400