Fraudsters are determined to take money from their victims, and they’re constantly finding new techniques. They’re ever ready to change tactics too. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, when people became more isolated, they knew they’d find more people at home – so they had more chance of talking to them on the phone, and took advantage of the fact more people would be expecting a door-step delivery – so courier text scams have increased.

Scammers are also good at gathering information about their potential victims. Each piece of information they get goes into their database to be pieced together and exploited.

How can you protect your parents and any family members the scammers might target?

Telephone Calls

Firstly, remind them that it’s okay to just ignore or hang up on an unexpected call. Many people are too polite to do this, but fraudsters can get an idea of someone’s age from a simple hello, and any conversation risks giving away details. If they think someone has called them from their bank, they can still hang up and ideally call their bank using a different phone to check.

SMS Texts

When they get a text, they may want to respond. But most firms that use text messaging won’t expect a response via text message. If a text message does invite a response, it could be a scam. Few companies will place internet links or mobile phone numbers in a text, or ask for money this way. You can block and report numbers sending suspicious messages on most mobile phones. It’s worth taking a few minutes to learn how to do this on your handset, because it’ll stop further texts from that number.


Remind your parents that, while their bank websites will probably look familiar, it’s always worth looking for that small padlock symbol alongside the name in the address bar of their browser on any sites where they’re making a financial transaction – including shopping sites. If there’s no padlock, it could mean even a familiar-looking site is a ‘lookalike’. You can click on the padlock to see details, and it will name the company the site belongs to, so you can check you’re dealing with the right company. You will see our padlock gives our company website address

Using Family Connect

Major life changes can put people at a high risk of becoming victims of fraud. Retiring, moving home or going through a bereavement can lower people’s guard as they focus on other things. Scammers know this. If your parents are under stress, it may be worth offering them some help with the Family Connect service.

It’s quick and easy to set up and use. Once you’ve registered and invited a family member to share, you can keep a watch on their account transactions and get notifications of anything unexpected. You can’t make or stop payments, so they can rest assured that no-one’s interfering, but it means you can check bills are paid and let them know if there’s any unusual activity you’re worried about. When they’re ready, you can remove them from the service, or they can opt out themselves.

Ready to get started? Register with Family Connect now – it just takes a few minutes.