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Friday, June 6, 2014

An Abney Associates Fraud Awareness Program: I've been a victim of phishing, how can I stop this from happening again?

One reader was victim to a scam email. She asks our consumer expert how she can be better informed about such emails in future

Ideally this type of email should be detected and diverted into a “spam” folder, but that doesn't always happen. You may not have such a filter, in which case have one installed. Even with one it is worth being alert to the fact that such emails can still get through to your main folder. It is best to delete them if they do, and also from any spam or trash folders.

A spokesman for said your email service might also have an option to block the sender either straight from the in-box or in the junk folder. You may want to forward such emails to the bank or organisation referred to if relevant before doing this.

Most spam emails actually don’t ring true from the start. This is often because the person who receives the email doesn’t have an account with the bank or organisation it pretends to be from.

The senders are relying on the fact that in this exercise something will strike a chord with someone, even if it is only 1pc of those receiving them – that a few of those people will actually take the bait. However, with so much personal data doing the rounds, there may soon be more emails that seem authentic.

Don’t get drawn into giving personal information and don’t click on any attachments or links. Not only could this lead to fraud, it could also affect your computer.

The web is full of advice about these bugbears of modern life, but people still get caught out and readers still write in about their bad experiences.

If an email purports to be from a bank or a government body, check out the real website for information on phishing scams. For example, HMRC’s website,, has some helpful advice. Follow “security advice” from the front page.

Also see (or call 0300 123 2040) and Or try the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506 (

Useful information relating to such scams can also be found on

How to contact our consumer champion

Because of the volume of mail received, it is not possible to respond to every letter and correspondence cannot be entered into. Please do not send original documents or stamped and addressed envelopes. Responsibility, legal or otherwise, for answers given cannot be accepted. Cases currently with an ombudsman, going through a court of law or sent to other columns will not be considered.

In addition, Jessica cannot take up issues when the writer is a third party, other than in exceptional circumstances and cannot respond to emails. A full postal address, a signature and daytime telephone number are needed. Please address letters to: Jessica, Your Money, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT.

If you have a simple money advice question rather than a consumer complaint, email our Ask an Expert panel at


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