Financial scams are now a billion pound business in the United Kingdom and they are increasing rapidly. It is easy to be preyed on by a financial scammer so be on the lookout. Estimates are that each adult in the United Kingdom is conned out of 70 pounds a year by cunning scammers. This is an astounding amount.
Although most people assume it is the elderly who are most often caught off guard by a scam, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) says that this is not the case. Apparently the age group most commonly relieved of their hard earned money is the in the thirty-five to forty-four age bracket. The elderly are also targeted and usually fall victim to the predators who manage to get the most cash out of them.
People who fall victim to a scam are often profoundly affected and often suffer depression. They feel cheated and vulnerable and they also feel frustrated at being confronted with an invisible enemy. Scammers are now able to enter our home sanctuary through our computers and telephones and this is a violation in a place we should feel safe.
So, what do we have to watch out for when it comes to financial scams?
Financial scams – the golden rule is if it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t true!
- If you have received an email with an offer that looks too good to be true check the return address. Is the email address a free address such as .yahoo or .gmail? Most legitimate companies have email addresses which include their company name or their brand name.
- Check the spelling and grammar. Be aware if spelling and grammar are not good.
- Most predators will groom their victims and they will probably not ask for money in the beginning. As soon as they do ask for money, for some fee or other, you should be concerned.
Typical financial scams target the following:
- Slimming and health
- Holiday clubs
- Fake foreign lotteries
- Prize draws
- Job offers
Be cynical if you are offered something you have not requested. Watch your wallet and your bank account. Don’t be conned out of your hard-earned money. It is far better to reject a genuine offer by being too cautious than it is to fall victim to a scam. The OFT is on your side. They are making scams a top priority and have vowed to fight back.