The top frauds to watch out for
What you need to be aware of in 2018
NatWest has worked with research agency The Future Laboratory to analyse data from the last 18 months to predict eight frauds expected to emerge in 2018.
Scams to watch out for:
Social media spying. People might not realise how much information they are giving away, but to a fraudster the posts can be very helpful in setting up a scam.
Malicious software on smartphones. It is expected that malware or malicious software threats will grow among mobile devices.
Bogus Brexit investments. Consumers should be wary of fake investment opportunities. For example, fraudsters may email customers, warning Brexit will affect their savings, and that they urgently need to move them into a seemingly plausible, but actually fake, investment product.
Fraudsters preying on World Cup excitement. Some fraudsters will sell football tickets that are either fake or will never arrive. It is also expected that "package trips" will be offered by fake travel companies. Always buy tickets from a reputable source.
Money mules. Mule recruiters may trawl social media for potential targets, particularly cash-strapped students in university towns, and use them to inadvertently launder money. Money mules receive the stolen funds into their account, they are then asked to withdraw it and send the money to a different account, often one overseas, keeping some of the money for themselves.
Wedding excitement. Experts fear couples could be easy prey for fraudsters who tempt victims with extravagant offers at bargain prices. Fraudsters set up fake websites for elements of the big day like venue hire, catering, or wedding dresses that appear very realistic. Fake wedding planners will take people's money and then disappear.
Romance scams. Criminals create fake profiles to form a relationship with their victims. They use messaging to mine victims' personal details to use for identity fraud or later ask for money.
Scams aimed at first-time buyers. Computer hackers monitor emails sent by a solicitor to a first-time buyer and then they pounce, pretending to be the solicitor and telling them the solicitors' account details have changed in order to steal cash.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40.