You work hard for your money and the last thing you want is to lose it to a scammer.
But many of us think we’re too clever to fall for a scam, too tech savvy to be fooled by a fake email, or think only older people get conned.
The reality is we’re all vulnerable and in fact it’s younger people who are most likely to become a victim of fraud.
Spotting, avoiding and reporting scams can seem difficult, but if you know the tell-tale signs keeping yourself and your money safe is really easy.
Lots of people believe scams are getting harder and harder to spot and there is some truth to this. But if you know what to look out for, then spotting the signs is still pretty easy. So, what should you look out for?
- Who’s contacting you? Check the email address the message was sent from by expanding the panel at the top of the email. If it’s a scam, the email address will be misspelt or contain random numbers and letter. You need to be more careful with phone calls, as scammers are getting better at duplicating legitimate phone numbers.
- What are they calling you? An email from a legitimate company should always address you by your full name. But scammers will usually say something like ‘Dear Customer’.
- Were you expecting to be contacted? If it’s an unexpected or unsolicited call, then this should ring alarm bells. This is particularly true when it comes to pensions. In January 2019, the pension cold calling ban came into place. This means if you’re contacted about your pension by anyone who you don’t have an account with, or have not asked to be contacted by, it’s a scam.
- Are you being pressured into making a decision? Scammers don’t want you to have the time to think about what you’re doing, so they will pressure you into making a decision then and there. No legitimate company would ask you to make a decision like this.
- Does it sound too good to be true? A common trick with investment and pension scams is to tell you an opportunity offers big rewards with no risk. Such a thing doesn’t exist.