Every day, people are scammed. Whether it’s through giving out personal details, taking on people who do not do jobs as promised or through fake online investments, people can be defrauded of money, and there is no guarantee that people will get money back if it is felt they didn’t take the right steps to protect themselves. Knowing what to be aware will help stop you getting scammed.
1. Unsolicited calls
Scammers will often call at unexpected times. Sometimes, companies may need to call you for legitimate reasons as well, something scammers take advantage of. If you are unsure, contact the company (don’t ask the caller for the details, find them yourself) to check and then if the caller is legitimate arrange for them to call you back.
2. Too good to be true
It may be a cliché but it’s always worth remembering- if an offer from someone you don’t know sounds too good to be true, then the chances are it is.
3. Don’t share personal details
A bank won’t ask for your PIN number. If you are unsure, don’t share any personal information as there is a very high risk that a scammer could use that to con you out of money, or sell on that information to other scammers.
4. High pressure tactics
If someone pressures you into making a big decision and quickly then hang up. This is especially true if they tell you not to mention this to friends or family.
5. Vague contact details
A company that only uses a PO Box or mobile phone contact is generally not a good sign, as it means there isn’t a central location to contact in the event of a complaint. You should also check as sometimes a company may use a premium rate phone number when you call them, another way of getting money from unwary people who get in contact when these scam companies leave a message.
It is also important to check websites- if the site looks unusual then it is best avoided (if unsure look at official sites and contact official companies).
6. Spelling and grammar mistakes
An official government website or legitimate business is unlikely to have glaring spelling or grammar mistakes, such as random capital letters or multiple exclamation marks.
7. Don’t be intimidated
A recent online tactic is to claim that you owe thousands of pounds or that you are about to be threatened with legal action. Check where the threat is coming from- the chances are it is from somewhere you don’t have a contract with.
8. Don’t download
A common trick is to say “Please find invoice attached.” If you don’t know where a file came from don’t download it.
9. Report the fraudsters
If you know someone is posing as a company you have an account with, then find the appropriate contact (for example firstname.lastname@example.org) and give them the details as this will help them track down the fraudsters.
10. If you’re not sure, ask
Whether it is someone knocking on your door, phoning you or emailing you, if it is someone you don’t know always check with the company in question or someone you trust. If you know someone who has been affected by fraud please contact us today.