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Frauds and scams: Are you aware?

Frauds and scams: Are you aware?

Financial fraud takes many different forms and as technology changes scammers are always creating new ones. Knowing what to look for and how to avoid scams is the best way to stay safe.

Here are some common types of scams, being aware can make it easier to spot them and stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

Doorstep crime

Buying on your doorstep can be convenient, but fraudsters can use clever tactics to pressure you into buying something you don’t want, something that is poor value for money, or a service you may never receive.

Bogus salespeople provide false identities and contact information, making it impossible for you to identify or contact them. If you’ve paid them in advance, you won’t get your money back.

You can protect yourself from these scams by always asking for identification and trusting your instinct. If you are suspicious or feeling pressured, ask the person to leave and do not commit to anything on the spot.

Phone scams

You may have heard of classic phone scams, but fraudsters are cunning in their tactics and it’s not always obvious when it’s a scam. Cold callers trick people into believing they are speaking to a representative from a trusted company such as their bank, the police or a government department.

Fraudsters may convince an individual that they have been a victim of fraud and ask for personal and financial information. If you are asked for personal details, you should never give these out over the phone; including your four digit pin, username and password, or any other personal details.

Phishing emails

Phishing is an attempt to steal your personal details; the name derives from fishing as ‘bait’ is usually used to catch victims. Phishing can come in the form of emails, texts or phone calls from fraudsters pretending to be your bank. They can be very convincing.

If you’re worried about phishing, as a rule you should never hand out your bank details in full or open any links from emails you find suspicious.

Romance scams

Fraudsters prey on vulnerable people using any means they can, which includes tricking people who are looking for love.

Fraudsters make fake online profiles and build what feels like a loving relationship with a vulnerable person, winning their trust before tricking them into handing over money or confidential details. The rise of online dating has made this much more common.

Never give your personal details to anyone, no matter how much you trust them.

Mass marketing fraud

Mass marketing fraud is when you receive uninvited contact by email, letter or phone making false promises to con you out of money.

Mass marketing fraudsters try to lure victims with false promises of cash prizes, goods or services in exchange for upfront fees which they may call taxes or donations.

Types of mass marketing fraud can include:

  • Lotteries and sweepstakes
  • Charity scams
  • Inheritance schemes
  • Credit card interest reduction schemes
  • Business opportunities

 

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