Scams can cost people thousands of pounds. The problem is that spotting scams are not always immediately obvious, and the scammers can often use sophisticated techniques in order to “prove” who they are and what they are offering is “genuine.” To counter this, here are five tips to help you be more scam aware.

Get information
Someone may knock at your door claiming to be from the council or other official agency. In this instance, do not check any details on the cards they offer you, but go straight to the organisation they claim to be representing. They should then be able to tell you if this person is genuine.

This is equally true online- if someone claims to be from a bank, online transfer payment service or other official organisation you have used talk to them. A bank will not ask for details online such as your PIN number, so make sure you never give them online.

It’s not a secret
A big indicator of a scammer is if they tell you that this is something that you cannot tell somebody else. This is because the likelihood is that if you do they will tell you it is a scam and you should not go ahead with it. This is also true if they pressure you into agreeing immediately or within a set timeframe.

Do not pay the full amount upfront
When it comes to services, it is best to avoid someone who comes to your door unannounced. This is especially true if someone says they can do the work for you at a discounted rate if you pay the full amount in cash.

The reason that this needs to be avoided is that if something goes wrong, then the cash is a lot harder to trace than paying by card or another method. If you do not sign an agreement, then this also becomes harder to track in the event of any unfinished work.

Be wary of any unsolicited messages
Any competition that you didn’t enter, a message you were not expecting or someone calling you saying they called before are all likely to be scams. Do not be pressured into doing something you do not want to do, and definitely, do not send any money if asked. It doesn’t matter if it’s a text, phone call or email, you should not engage.
One potential problem is that some may use an “opt out” or “reply to not get this message again” This is another trick as this could end up with your details being passed on.

Keep secure
There are ways to keep your information secure. Check any forms you fill online, ensuring that you do not unintentionally agree to pass on data (this is not always as clear as you think). When using websites do not use the same password for multiple sites and make sure they are not easy to guess.

If you feel you have been scammed and want legal advice contact Larcomes today and we will be happy to discuss your situation in more detail.