One of the best ways to protect yourself from a scam is to know how a scam might look.
Criminals may target you via post, telephone, email, internet or even on your doorstep. Whatever the nature of the scam they all share common characteristics.
Here are some of the warning signs to look out for:
- A cold call – someone contacts you about something that you didn’t request or expect.
- Fantastic offer – the offer sounds very attractive yet too good to be true.
- A sense of urgency – you’re told that the offer is only available for a limited time or that you must act quickly.
- Odd language – the wording in the email or letter doesn’t sound right, or it has bad spelling and grammar.
- Secrecy – you’re told not to tell anyone.
- Upfront payment request – you’re asked to pay money upfront or send a fee without an agreed contract.
- Information request – you’re asked to give personal information or banking details.
A scam may not show all of these warning signs. Just one of these factors alone should be an alert to you that the offer is not legitimate.
If you’re unsure whether something is genuine or not, seek advice before you act. The organisations in the list on the righthand side of this page will be able to advise you.
Protect your friends and family
Would you know if a friend or family member was being scammed?
Download our Community ScamWise leaflet below to find out the warning signs to look out for and what to do to help.
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