Scammers – how to stop them (Part 3)
Posted on 27th March 2023
You can mention the tactics scammers use to anyone you are concerned about. Make sure they are aware just how plausible and reasonable these criminals can sound.
If you have concerns you can report them to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Messages asking someone to act quickly to secure an offer or prevent an incident should be disregarded. Ask your loved ones to contact you before responding to any time-limited requests.
Any communication that requires a transfer of money should be treated with caution. People can contact the Citizens Advice National Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 for advice.
Indications that someone is being targeted by scammers can include:
unnecessary cleaning of driveways, guttering or roofs
multiple letters, junk mail or catalogues that appear to come from abroad
buying large quantities of items such as vitamins or herbal medications
phone calls that appear to cause anxiety
unusual secrecy about finances or spending
changes in behaviour.
Five steps to stop scammers
Anyone can be targeted by scammers, so here are some things to bear in mind.
1. Keep financial information private. Banks and other official organisations will not ask for information such as your personal identification number (PIN) or card number. Don’t give this information to anyone unless you are certain you know who they are. To be safe, contact the organisation directly using the number on your bank card or on their website.
2. Be suspicious. Even if someone seems to know personal information about you, such as your full name and address, they could still be a scammer. They could have stolen or bought your personal details. They might even say you’ve been a victim of fraud to scare you.
3. Call back. Legitimate organisations won’t pressurise you into making immediate payments. They won’t object if you say you are going to make your own enquiries to verify the information they’re providing. If they try to stop you, it’s a strong indication that they are a criminal.
4. Trust your instincts. If you have doubts, trust them. Scammers are very good at misdirecting you to create a false sense of safety. You might not know exactly what is making you feel uneasy, but there will be a good reason.
5. Ask for advice. The last thing scammers want you to do is get someone else involved. If you receive unusual requests for personal or financial information simply say you must ask a friend or family member. It could be the last time you hear from them.
What you can do to protect loved ones from scammers
Anyone who lives alone can benefit from some additional support. You can check to see if they have access to genuine advice and help in their neighbourhood.
If someone has been the victim of a scam it will help them regain control if they make a report. They can do this through Action Fraud or, with their consent, you can create a report on their behalf.
You can also reassure them that experienced scammers are very skilful and they haven’t been foolish.
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