Scammers are seeking to exploit the current Covid-19 situation and financial scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. With many people isolated from family and loved ones, it is more important than ever that we are all aware of these scams and how to spot them.
Some of the new scams include:
• ‘Good cause’ scams – where scammers will ask you to invest in good causes such as face masks and hand sanitiser production, often promising lucrative returns.
• A cold call, e-mail, text or WhatsApp message telling you that your bank is in trouble due to coronavirus and you need to transfer your money to an alternative bank account.
• Scammers asking for upfront fees when applying for loans or credit cards, in an attempt to exploit people experiencing short-term financial concerns.
Here are some of the signs of a scam to look out for:
• A call, email or text message asking for personal details or for you to transfer money.
• A clone firm – this is where a scammer may cold call or e-mail you claiming to represent an authorised firm to appear genuine. They may want to advise you on the sale of a pension or investment product.
• Anyone asking you for your password.
• Anyone asking you to move money into another account, or to pay fees directly into another bank account.
There are ways you can protect yourself from these scams:
• Do not click links or open e-mails from senders you do not already know.
• Do not give personal details out to anyone you do not know.
• Be vigilant when taking unsolicited calls or checking unexpected e-mails.
• Avoid being rushed or pressured into making decisions.
The Financial Conduct Authority has more information on scams. You’ll find this on their Covid-19 scams webpage.
If you do receive any calls or e-mails in relation to savings, pensions or investments, please do not give out any of your personal information unless you are sure the contact is legitimate. You can contact me if you have any concerns, on mobile 07885 407604, the office number 02890 229798 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.