February 8th, 2019
Scammers are getting more and more sophisticated, constantly finding new ways to steal your money. You might find you receive an unsolicited request for funds through the post, or get telephone calls telling you your computer needs updating. More recently email scams have become the norm and, unfortunately, scam emails are starting to look more and more genuine.
Scammers prey on fear and doubt, SCAMchampion representatives have told us how scammers will often start out sounding plausible and by the time the victims realise what has happened they can be significantly out of pocket. They say that people are often left feeling embarrassed that they have fallen for the scam and can be reluctant to report it. Some may even feel trapped in a cycle of making payments for products they don’t want or need.
Scamming is big business, in the first half of 2018 alone UK bank customers lost £500 million to scams. With many carers alone at home they can become the perfect target for unscrupulous scammers. One carer reported being bombarded by unwanted phone calls for over a year demanding payments for products she had not ordered.
Fortunately just as the scams evolve, so too do the tools we can use against them. Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards have put together a very helpful pack urging individuals to be vigilant and to look out for the warning signs of scams. These can include things like catalogues offering products for sale and promising you a cash prize if you place an order. Or frequent phone calls from strangers offering goods or services.
Surrey Trading Standards want to remind carers that they can say “No” to cold calling. Their team offer sticker packs which can protect carers from unwanted visitors and telephone blocking services to stop nuisance calls. For more information and to request your packs give them a call on 03454 04 05 06.
If you would like to find out more about Friends Against Scams or becoming a SCAMchampion, you can visit them at their website www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk
For more info on financial management have a look at the Money Matters section of our website.