New research has shown that most victims of financial scams never receive a penny back of the money they lost.
Despite warnings financial scams, fraud and cons are on the increase. The BBC has revealed that figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland show 5,000 of their customers fell victim over the past year, losing a total of £25 million.
To compound the misery of the original fraud, the figures also showed that 70% of victims never recouped a penny of their losses.
What’s more, the average amount lost in each fraud has risen by 40% since 2014 to over £13,000.
How to avoid falling victim
The majority of scams started over the phone as the result of a cold call or an individual impersonating a member of bank staff and convincing the victim to transfer funds from their account.
There are a number of simple steps you can avoid becoming a victim of financial scams and fraud:
- Never ever do business with someone who has cold called you. If you receive a cold call simply hang up
- Banks will never call you to request a transfer of money, if you receive a call asking you to move funds, again, simply hang up
- If you receive a call but you are unsure whether or not it is genuine, call back on a number you know to be correct. But wait 10 – 15 minutes to avoid scammers who hang on the line waiting for you to make that call
- Never give personal information over the phone to people or companies you don’t know
- Never respond to an unsolicited text
- Be careful when you are online. Never respond to an unsolicited email and beware of spam which could contain a virus; if in doubt don’t open the email or click the attachment, simply delete
- Be password aware, don’t use the same password for multiple websites and change them regularly
- Beware of scammers targeting your pension pot. Some will call pretending to be from the Government or Pension Wise, the new service set up to help people when they retire. Again, if you receive a cold call, put the phone down and find a financial adviser via a recommendation or from a reputable directory such as www.unbiased.co.uk or www.vouchedfor.co.uk
- Check that anyone giving you financial advice is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), if they are not, simply walk away and chose another adviser. You can find the FCA register by clicking here . It’s also worth checking the details of the organisation with Companies House, which you can do by clicking here
- Avoid investments which guarantee returns above those you can get from traditional savings accounts
Finally, remember if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
We’re here to help
If you would like more information on how to avoid a financial scam call Bev or Sarah, who are authorised and regulated by the FCA, on 0115 933 8433.