Did you know that the British public loses billions of pounds to fraudsters? These criminals have a variety of trained scams to try and steal people’s money.
If something sounds that it’s too good to be true, then it is. Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information. It could keep you safe and can be a challenge to know whether it could be fake. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try and rush or panic you. Contact your bank or financial institution immediately if you think that you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
With the cost of living on the rise and people eager to save money or make a bit extra, some offers may look like they’re too good to be true.
Here are four types of scams that people need to pay attention to.
About 2.1 million tax credit customers are expected to renew their annual claims by 31 July. Criminals will mimic government messages to make them appear authentic in their phone calls, texts and emails.
HMRC has even said that scammers tried to threaten people about non-existent tax bills, or they may try to tempt them with tax rebates they also say that there is an issue with the person’s NI number or direct debit. HMRC suggest searching gov.uk for genuine information and guidance.
It can be tempting to get a cheap insurance deal, particularly for young drivers who must pay more for their insurance due to their inexperience. However, be warned especially if it’s via social media or word of mouth as the so-called ‘ghost brokers’ pretend to be genuine brokers offering car insurance. Policies are bought through legitimate companies but use false information. They are then doctored and sold on. It’s only when someone claims that they realise that the policy isn’t valid.
Always check a broker’s status on the Financial Conduct Authority or British Insurance Broker’s Association websites or contact insurers directly.
According to Action Fraud figures, victims of holiday and travel-related fraud lose £1,868 on average. Action Fraud advises people to check whether firms are members of ABTA. Also, look out for website domain names that change from .co.uk to .org. Also, do a thorough online search for reviews to see if anyone had issues with the company.
Due to the current cost of living crisis, people are struggling to cope with rising energy bills. Therefore, fraudsters are taking advantage of vulnerable people by calling them to obtain bank details. They do this by pretending to be officials who need them to process council tax rebates to help people deal with the rise in living costs.
An organisation called ‘Get Safe Online’ is advising people to hang up immediately if they receive such calls. You can find out more at https://www.getsafeonline.org/.