Financial scams are becoming increasingly common, with scammers using a variety of tactics to try to gain access to your money. In the UK, there are a number of common scams which you should be aware of in order to protect yourself and your finances. In this article, we will explore some of the most common financial scams to keep an eye out for, and how you can avoid them.
Phone and Text Scams
One of the most common types of financial scams are those conducted over the phone or via text messages. Scammers will often call pretending to be from a reputable company or organisation, such as your bank or the police, and ask for your personal details or payment.
It is important to remember that banks and police will never call or text you asking for personal information or payment. If you receive a call or text like this, hang up or delete it and do not respond.
Online Shopping Scams
Online shopping has become much more popular in recent years, but unfortunately, scammers have been quick to take advantage of this. If you buy something online, make sure you double check the website and payment method. Ensure the website has a secure connection and is from a reputable company before you hand over your credit or debit card details.
Another common online shopping scam is when scammers use stolen credit card details to purchase goods from reputable sites. If you receive a payment for an item that you have not sold or ordered, contact your bank immediately and do not send any goods.
Investment scams come in all shapes and sizes, from bogus property deals to bogus investments in shares. It is important to be aware of the signs of an investment scam and to be wary of any investments that appear too good to be true.
If you are considering investing in something, make sure you research the company, its products and its financial performance as well as the investment itself. If you are ever unsure, seek independent advice from a financial adviser or the Financial Conduct Authority.
Phishing is a scam in which scammers send emails or texts to try to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on a malicious link. These emails or texts will often look legitimate and may claim to be from a reputable organisation such as your bank.
If you receive an email or text that you are not expecting, do not click on any links or provide any personal information. If you are not sure whether the email or text is legitimate, you can contact the organisation directly to check.
Scammers often create fake charities in order to take advantage of people’s generosity. These scammers will often claim to represent a legitimate charity and will ask for donations.
If you are considering donating to a charity, make sure you carry out some research and check the charity is genuine. You can do this by visiting the charity’s website or checking its details on the Charity Commission website.
Scammers also use fake adverts to try to take advantage of people. These scams often involve bogus offers or free gifts that require a payment to be made or personal information to be provided.
If you are ever unsure about an advert or offer, research the company and ensure that it is legitimate. You can also check online reviews to see what other people have to say.
Financial scams are becoming increasingly common, and it is important to be aware of some of the most common scams to look out for. Remember to always be wary of any suspicious calls, texts, emails or offers, and never provide personal information or payment unless you are sure it is legitimate. Finally, if you are ever unsure about a financial product or service, seek independent advice or research it thoroughly before you commit.