Not all third-party sites advertising in search engine results are fraudulent, but you do need to be cautious. Here’s how a member of the public was caught out.
A member of the public needed a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on building sites.
They found what they thought was the official CSCS provider after a search online and filled out a form to book a Health, Safety and Environment test.
Someone called in response and asked a few ‘security questions’. They gave him their name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number. He then asked for their credit card number for the test, which would cost £250.
They knew this figure was wrong and ended the call – the standard card fee is £36 and the test is £21.
Following the call, they were rightly concerned they may have handed personal details to a fraudster.
Search engine advertising
CSCS cards can be obtained through the official website cscs.uk.com, after booking and successfully completing the Health, Safety and Environment test through official channels.
Unfortunately, the member of the public instead found one of the many third-party CSCS sites that advertise in search engine results.
They’re not all fraudulent, although this one certainly charged an eyebrow-raising premium, with unclear justification.
Those seeking a new profession should be wary of such dodgy tactics.
What to do if you’ve been caught out
If this happens to you, contact your bank and credit providers as it may be able to increase their monitoring of your account.
Check account statements and your credit report regularly for any unrecognised activity.
You could also Consider Cifas Protective Registration (cifas.org.uk). At £25 for two years’ cover, it ensures banks, credit firms and insurers do extra checks when receiving applications in your name.
Have you ever been caught out by a website claiming to be something it’s not? Did you arrive there via search engine advertising?
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