Many people talk of a cashless society becoming the norm, and with good reason. Approximately £1.2 billion is stolen in fraud and scams every year in the UK. That figure is only what’s reported, with many people also feeling too embarrassed to admit they have been the victim of a crime involving their own money.
Money has always been a huge attraction to criminals, therefore all of us must consider how we both use and store ours. The question is, would a cashless society help to prevent crime?
Here are our thoughts on why the answer isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
Some people prefer to keep their money where they can see it. Or, to simply have a few notes in their wallet if needed. On the one hand, this offers convenience. But what you also have to consider, is that if someone were to steal this money from you, without a bank transfer log it would be difficult to trace the culprit.
Unfortunately, pensioners in particular are targets for criminals because they are more likely to carry cash. For example, when going to make a bank transfer or even when they draw their pension. While cash theft can happen at any age, the elderly are less able to defend themselves, making it essential they are protected.
Businesses are also at risk too, especially when it comes to transferring takings from a safe or till to the bank. This is where cash in transit security officers are worth their weight in gold. Though given this is a highly dangerous job, it proves that dealing with physical bundles of cash is not without serious risk.
You might think the answer is to avoid carrying cash altogether. In part, this is true because if your money doesn’t exist in a physical sense, then it’s a lot harder to steal – at least in person anyway. However, the likes of phishing scams and other kinds of digital fraud also exist meaning being cashless isn’t always straightforward either.
Though, one benefit of any scams committed using your credit cards or even the likes of PayPal, is that it’s easier to see when the money was taken and by who. Many banks even have systems in place to block payments that look suspicious, which can stop criminals in their tracks. The same simply doesn’t exist with cash.
While there are benefits of a cashless society, many systems (such as parking metres) still require the use of physical cash. Some people also don’t have bank accounts, such as young children or the elderly. Therefore, not everyone is able to pay by card. So, avoiding cash completely doesn’t work for everyone.
How To Keep Your Money Safe
Online banking is pretty much the norm these days, and while it’s easy to be afraid if you’ve never done it before, it’s actually a very robust system. Many apps will only work on fingerprint recognition, and even then you still need to enter a password. In particular, Barclay’s require you to visit them in person to set the app up, or video yourself and send a scan of your passport, just to be able to link your account to the app.
If you are planning on withdrawing cash, then exercise caution with how you do so. If you are elderly or vulnerable, it’s always worth having someone come with you to do it. Don’t carry large sums of cash on you, and if you must store cash at home, use a pin protected safe.
While it might sound obvious, be sure to never give your bank pinout to anyone. Otherwise, if they do take any money from your account, the bank would class this as authorised use. This includes looking out for telephone and email phishing scams, as nobody from your bank would ever ask for your password or details of your account.
Personal protection should be one of your main thoughts when out and about, whether you’re just wandering around the shops or meeting a friend for lunch. Without taking actions and having some form of protection, you’re at risk from so many different angles.
Personal protection comes in the form of many different styles which mean that there are so many to choose from. One cost-effective way to keep yourself safe is to invest in a personal protection app. Apps like these are monitored for when you need it most. A team of expert protection specialists will be alerted to your distress and can call the authorities to your location without you even taking your phone out of your pocket.
To Sum Up
In many ways, a cashless society would prevent crime, especially if large wads of cash have been stolen. But, protecting your bank account goes far beyond physical cash alone. It’s always worth brushing up your online security too, making sure your cards are only used by you, and that nobody else knows information that would allow them to access your bank account.
Here at RE:SURE, we want to help you secure your home too. We can advise you with any security concerns you may have, and we can even install a comprehensive remote CCTV monitoring system too. Drop us a line on IRE 01 691 7100 | UK 028 8676 1183 and our friendly team will be more than happy to help.