Are you being scammed?
There are many scammers out there after your money – they often target the older population who they know may have some spare cash.
Below are signs that you could be scammed and ways to avoid your family getting nuisance calls.
The fake lottery
This is one that does catch you unaware. Often you could be contacted by telephone, email or even a letter. You will see that it states you have ‘won’ on the lottery and usually it is from the Spanish or Canadian lottery. Of course you have not purchased any tickets for these lotteries but you may think it is part of the UK lottery (it is not)
So you re then told that to claim your ‘prize’ you need to send the scammers some money for admin and taxes. This is before you receive the money (that does not even exist). If you send the money then you will lose that and never here about your ‘win’ again.
The fake prize draw
Often many of us enter legal competitions (I am a huge fan of on-line comping – although not won anything major)
So you often get a letter saying the usual…Congratulations you are one of our recent winners. The prizes are amazing including for example Cash, Holiday Villa, Car or a necklace. Yes that is right you ‘win’ the tatty necklace worth around £5 if that.
However you think you are in with a good chance of a major life changing prize so you think it is worth paying that ‘admin fee’ to get the goods processed etc.
Of course you can complain but by then the con artists have disappeared and all you are left with it a worthless piece of rubbish and a dent in your bank account.
I always say if I never entered I cannot have won and if it sounds too good to be true it usually is
Spotting the phishing scams
These scams play on the greed of people and the scammers know they have a good target.
A letter or email arrives (often an email) stating someone overseas is in trouble and asks you to help access a bank account where they can place their entire life savings. In return you get a percentage of the funds to help them launder their money.
However, like the lottery scam, there are upfront fees to be paid to help with the transfer of funds and if they are given bank account details these are often used to empty them of funds.
Signs that a partner/parent could be a victim of scamming
- Have they become withdrawn and totally into their own thoughts
- Are they borrowing money (when you know they have enough funds not to need to borrow?)
- Are they having to keep saying they are cutting back on essential times and living more frugal than before – with no particular reason
- What about the mail delivered daily – is there a lot of unsolicited mail. This sadly could mean they are now on what is known as a ‘suckers list’ which is where scammers sell on the details of people who have been conned or in their eyes gullible
One way of avoiding receiving these emails is to make sure you have a spam filter set up on your computer – as these emails will then just go into spam and be deleted in a few weeks.
Also make sure you do not subscribe to any websites that do not guarantee that they will not sell on your personal details. Most should not.
How to stop cold calls
The best way to stop any nuisance calls is to register with Telephone Preference Service
You will be added to their list of telephone numbers that do not want to receive any form of cold calling. The number to call them to register is 0345 070 0707. This free to register but often some ‘scammers’ will charge you to sign up – so ignore them. Should this be the case then please report them to the Consumer Service.
I hope these few tips will help you or a family member/friend keep their hard-earned money and not pass it to scammers.