Scammers continue to find more creative ways to get your cash. This guide can never be completely comprehensive with all the latest scams but we aim to help you to learn what to look out for. The stories around the scams may change, but what you should do to spot and avoid them doesn’t.
Have you ever heard of the email from a Nigerian prince wanting you to share his fortune? The person stranded overseas needing £1,000 to get home which they’ll pay straight back? Or the lottery you’ve won in Spain – even though you don’t live there, and have never entered a lottery there?
The best way to prevent scammers from getting their hands on your hard-earned cash is to know how to protect yourself in the first place. Here are our top tips on how to avoid scams. They aren’t all fail-safes, but they can help you think before you act.
Rule of thumb: Mistaking the genuine for a scam is nowhere near as bad as mistaking a scam for the genuine.
Scams currently common in the UK
There are 1,000s of ways scammers try to catch you out. Common methods include:
- Calls from someone claiming to be from a Government department or representative (or even MSE!), talking about reclaiming bank charges.
- Pension ‘liberation’ (more info in our Release Pension Cash guide).
- Vishing – where scammers tell you they’re from your bank and there’s been fraud on your account, asking you to call them back, but instead they wait on the line and then get you to hand over bank details.
- Miracle cures or miracle weight-loss pills – ketones are common, and appear on many people’s Facebook pages.
- Fake bank or Apple emails saying you need to re-verify your account details.
- Investment scams (the FCA has a site helping you to spot investment scammers – ScamSmart, which includes a database of dodgy companies to avoid)
- Deceptive prize draws and sweepstakes.
- Get-rich-quick schemes.
- Fake court summons emails (more on this at Action Fraud).
- Job scams – the Metropolitan Police’s Safer Jobs site has advice for job-hunters, employees, employers, plus it lets you report suspected scams.
- Fake calls from someone pretending to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service asking for personal financial details. The ombudsman will never call you out of the blue to ask for information – it’ll only be in touch if you’ve got a case with it already.
You can find out more about financial scams on the Financial Conduct Authority‘s website or for scams in general, see the Metropolitan Police’s Little Book of Big Scams, or the Citizens Advice website.
Visit https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/stop-scams/#tips for more detail