How To Protect Yourself From Scams
Scams are an expensive crime that costs UK citizens in total almost £10 billion annually. Every day, fraudsters come up with new ways to deceive people and most of the time people don’t report the situation to the authorities which makes the issue even more difficult to control.
There are also some classic scams that no matter how old they get, they’re still implemented by criminals, like the scams where people pay for either services or goods that they will never receive.
That type of scam is a classic and it’s a good example of a very common scam that victims fail to report adequately or at all.
People are not the only targets here, there are also scams against businesses and which can be expensive. The most common one among businesses is called “invoice scam”. It works like this: A company receives an invoice from what looks like a trusted partner but it’s a fake invoice.
If the company fails to recognize the scam, they will send money to settle the invoice. The bank account receiving the money it’s operated by the criminals and the scam is completed. These scams are very popular right now and the use of internet sites makes them more believable so people and businesses need to stay alert of any possible scam attempts.
How can people and businesses protect from these scams?
Since the majority of these scams are now conducted using the internet, people need to be cautious about the websites they visit when online shopping. So whenever you want to buy something through a website, make sure that you go with a reputable brand and also make sure that the website is legitimate.
Make sure that you check everything, from the product description to payment methods.
Also, make sure that you read any policy that the website may contain. Try to use recognized official payment sites like WorldPay Online, Stripe or Paypal. This will make the work harder for criminals to successfully run their scams.
Businesses should also protect against all scams, especially invoice scams. The best way to do this is to never settle an invoice without making contact with the company that it’s supposed to be sent from first.
Look for any sudden changes in the payment arrangements, this can help you find clues indicating something’s not right. Always use official communication channels to prevent criminals from trying to steal money from the company.
What other types of scam exist?
There are other forms of scams that use emails, text messages and phone calls. Those are the most common ones and you can easily identify them.
For instance, if you receive a text message that looks suspicious, telling you that your bank account is blocked and the only way to fix the issue is by calling a certain number, someone may be trying to scam you.
In these cases, people should never attempt to call the number. Instead, look for your bank’s customer service number and report the event directly with them.
Financial criminals can also call you unexpectedly, the best way to stop them before they try to pull the scam is easy: don’t answer phone calls from unrecognized numbers or numbers that look suspicious. If you do answer the phone, avoid answering any personal questions.
Emails are also used by criminals to run scams. The best solution is to always verify that the email comes from a trusted sender. Antivirus companies offer services when they can identify if the source of an email is secure or not.
Try not to click on any unknown links or pop-ups. Usually, criminals don’t pay attention to grammar, so if you receive an “official” email, but you see some grammar/spelling mistakes chances are that the email does not come from a safe place.
Criminals enhance their tactics daily and no one is really exempt from being scammed, but the most important thing to do, if you were already scammed or if you think someone’s trying to scam you, is to report it immediately. Even if there is no financial loss you need to report it, that’s the only way in which these individuals can be located and prosecuted.
Scam have lots of forms and they are not all virtual or conducted by mail. Some of them come from where you least expect it like the PPI mess where bank employees were found charging insurance policies to people that were approved for credit.
The insurance was to protect payments in case the person could not meet the payments on time. The bad thing is that in most cases, the customers didn’t need the insurance or they had no idea they were paying for it.
After a few years, the government discovered the scam and is currently forcing banks to return the money to their rightful owners. As a result, many people are filing the claims and receiving their money back after years of paying insurance policies without knowing.
However, there are still many unclaimed PPIs waiting to be claimed and the reason is that people don’t know they’re entitled to this. You just need to click here so you can quickly find if you were affected by this or not. The due date to file any claim is 29th August 2019, so it’s best if you hurry before there’s no time left to do this.