Phishing Scams

Last post: Dec 6, 2019

Phishing is very common and tends to catch a lot of people out. Phishing is the term for when a scammer reaches to a victim via cold email (sometimes these emails are more targeted and will be sent to only a few businesses, and sometimes they’ll be sent en masse) with a message including a link that will direct the user to a site requiring them to enter personal details like bank account or credit card numbers, or sometimes a link that will allow the scammer remote access of the victim’s computer.

It's the process by which scammers capture bank account details, online passwords, and credit card details via cold emails. These emails can appear to come from trusted sources and appear legitimate. 

How to spot phishing attempts. 

Often phishing attempts are very obvious - sometimes the emails are obviously cold emails sent to thousands of people at once, with obvious spelling errors or addressed to sir/madam instead of using the victim's name. It can be easy to identify suspicious emails and ignore them - your junk folder in your emails should catch the brunt of them anyway - but it's important to know that the more successful scammers who use phishing know how to disguise their emails and make them seem legitimate. They can even disguise the real sender or make the email appear to be a reply to something the victim has sent. 

Many scammers attempt to capture their phishing victims by posing as their bank and asking them to confirm transactions, or by posing as HMRC and asking the victim to submit tax rebate claims by clicking on enclosed links. These seem more legitimate and it can be harder to spot suspicious elements, but banks will only ask customers to interact via secure links, and HMRC won't send emails - instead communicating through letters. Discretion and caution are important and can make the difference between you keeping and losing your money. Ensuring you cross check everything against well-kept records and only use secure websites to enter personal details will help. You can identify secure sites by the small padlock item in the top left of the search bar, or by the "https" (instead of just "http") at the start of the web address. 

Don't get hooked

Being cautious with passwords and using secure sites will go a long way to protecting you against phishing. Dealing with banking in person is safest, but using official banking apps and accessing your bank's website without using links emailed to you will do the job too. 

Be wary of common phishing language or scam techniques - phrases like 'verify your account', 'your account has been compromised', or emails that try to scare or put pressure on you probably need checking and verification before you place your trust in them. If the email doesn't include a full or even first name and is allegedly from a bank or HMRC (or other official organisation) then that should also be a red flag. If you don't want to just ignore emails such as these on the off chance they are legitimate, visit the website of the organisation (without using the link sent to you) or call them and confirm.

At Choice Business Loans, we care about businesses and their finances. We know how hard you work for the money you make, and how devastating it can be to lose it. That's why we want to educate businesses both large and small on the threat of scams and how they can safeguard themselves. Business fraud is becoming more and more sophisticated, so it's really important to be aware and up to date on all the latest scams and how they work.

We deal with a wide range of lenders and specialist brokers and have the knowledge and experience to examine different finance options and make suggestions to suit our clients. We can look at anything from a traditional bank loan, to Crowdfunding, Fintech lending, Merchant Cash Advances and similar innovative options.

Drop us an email at or call us on 01494 410 125 to speak with one of our team about what kind of help we can offer you.