Sunday, June 26, 2022

Tips to avoid becoming a victim of scams, from detecting scams to challenging scammers

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Thousands of people fall victim to scams every year, but there are steps you must follow to help you avoid losing money

There is a long list of ever-growing scams that consumers need to be constantly aware of possible downsides.

Thousands of people fall victim to scams every year, with scammers constantly finding new ways to steal people’s money.

Unfortunately, while it’s possible to get money back if you’re a victim in some cases, millions of pounds are lost every year when unsuspecting targets fall into a scammer’s trap.

adam french, The? Consumer rights expert, said: “Scammers are always looking for new ways to trick people into handing over their hard-earned money – from doorstep scams to cold calls or fraudulent messages pretending to be from a company or relatives.”

But there are steps people can take to ensure their money doesn’t get taken in the first place.

Iwith the help of industry experts, takes a look at what you can do to make sure your money is safe — and that you don’t fall for scammers.

UK Finance’s Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign offers three pieces of advice to help consumers avoid becoming victims of fraud.

The first is to take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information that could protect you.

Paul Davis, Director of Fraud Prevention at TSB, added: “Despite the complex and persuasive tricks of fraudsters, you have one important defense that will always win: time.

“Taking your time and not rushing can make the difference between going to bed at night with your money still safe in your bank; or resent it all being in a scammer’s pocket.”

Before you ever make a transfer to a new payee based on a request you’ve received, it’s a good idea to talk to friends, family, or your bank to verify that the payment request came from a legitimate source.

It’s also worth contacting the company, person, or organization that appears to be directly requesting payment to confirm this.

Mr French added: “People should be wary of unsolicited messages and when in doubt, double check any calls, texts or emails with the company or individual directly before entering any personal information.

“Establishing a blanket policy of not buying any goods or services offered at the door is a surefire way to stop would-be doorstep scammers.”

Challenge the person who is approaching you

The second piece of advice from Take Five is to question anything suspicious and ask yourself if it could be fake. It’s okay to deny, deny, or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

To avoid falling into the most common category of fraud, purchase scams, it’s important to verify a seller’s legitimacy and always pay by card, TSB said.

It added that alarm bells should ring if a seller insists on only taking payments via bank transfer.

Consumers are encouraged to dial 159 if they are contacted by someone claiming to be from your bank and you are unsure if it is genuine. This connects you directly to your bank, which can instantly confirm the legitimacy of a call.

Mr Davis added: “Scammers have no morals and will happily target the most vulnerable if it means stealing cash. Current cost-of-living scams include credit scams in which victims make down payments to access credit opportunities.

“Hundreds of pounds can be lost in one fell swoop, leaving those who were simply looking for financial help in despair. If a loan looks too good to be true, then it is. Contact Fairer Finance before taking out a loan and contact Citizens Advice or StepChange for help with borrowing.”

There are ways consumers can spot online fraud. The? explains how.

You can report any fraudulent SMS by forwarding it to your network provider at 7726.

You can also report the fraudulent email to the internet service provider (ISP) used to send you the email. There is usually a “Report” button or link in your inbox.

If you’ve received a fake SMS, email, or phone call pretending to be from a real company, you should notify the company the scammers were trying to impersonate.

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