People need to be on their guard against financial and legal scams following a rise in cases reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service. Citizens Advice Sherwood and Newark is now showing people how to spot scams. A total of 1,200 financial and legal scams were reported to the consumer service in the year ending April 2018 – an 6% increase on the year before. The average loss for these scams was £330.00. A range of investments scams were reported to the consumer service, including:
- Cryptocurrency — Fake websites claim to offer cryptocurrency investments, like Bitcoin. Often, scammers will pretend that household names have endorsed the company to give it some legitimacy.
- Binary options — Scammers pose as stockbrokers and get you to place bets on whether phoney shares will rise or fall within a certain date
- Holiday timeshares — Scammers promise to buy your membership off you for an advanced fee.
Bogus solicitors — A scammer will intercept emails from a legitimate solicitor and pose as them.
Citizens Advice Sherwood and Newark is sharing tips on how to spot scams:
- Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise.
- Don’t be rushed — you never need to make a decision straight away
- If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Never send money to someone you have never met.
- Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you.
- Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
- Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
- Suspect a scam? — Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call.
- Persuasive sales patter? — Just say: “No Thank You”.
- Don’t suffer in silence — speak out about scams.
You can find advice online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or at Sherwood and Newark Citizens Advice.
Citizens Advice Sherwood & Newark
Adviceline: 0844 411 1444