As Financial Scams get more sophisticated, even the vigilant can easily get caught out. Here are a few common scams…
Phishing & smishing scams
Phishing (email) & smishing (text) are the most common scams. Someone is posing as your bank or building society and will ask you to click on a link to verify your account details and password. Your actual bank would never ask you to do this, and fraudsters are purely trying to raid your bank account.
The offer of a free trial of a product or service, but you are asked to enter your card details. You are then often signed up for an expensive subscription on a continuous payment authorisation which basically means they can charge you without any further contact. Not all of these are scams but be very careful.
Boiler Room Scams
These scams promise amazing returns but will likely deliver substantial losses. They will rush you into a decision to “buy now while stocks last,” and ask you to transfer funds immediately. These are not authorised by the FCA, so losses mean you won’t see your money again.
People over 55 are being contacted by phone, email & text with bogus investment opportunities. The most prevalent scam is offering investment opportunities abroad, and letting you believe you are getting genuine free pensions advice.
Best thing to do if you are approached out of the blue is hang up! It’s worth checking if you receive an email or text if they are authorised by the FCA – Home (fca.org.uk).
Don’t be pressured or rushed and seek an impartial second opinion. It’s worth visiting the following for more detailed guidance www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
Home Purchase Fraud
On the lead up to exchange of contract the fraudster will monitor emails between you and the solicitor. They will then send a fraudulent email with new bank details for you to send your deposit. The fraudster then withdraws.
If you have given out your information and suspect fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Be vigilant and seek help if unsure.