Every year many people are conned into parting with their money by well-organised tricksters. Both consumers and businesses are targeted.
Mass-marketing fraud, when you receive uninvited contact by email, phone call, text message or letter to con you out of money, is a multi-million pound industry and new scams are emerging all the time.
Types of Fraud
Many scams are advance-fee frauds, where a fraudster asks for payment in advance for goods, services or a prize.
In these types of fraud, the scammers will usually ask for payments to be made by insecure payment methods, such as money transfer, Ukash voucher or Paysafecard: these methods will not allow the recipient to be traced.
How to Spot a Scam
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- Was the offer unsolicited?
- Does it look too good to be true?
- Do I have to send money up front?
- Do I have to respond 'at once'?
- Do I have to make a purchase to win a prize?
- Do I have to ring a premium rate phone number?
- Do I have to give my bank or credit card details?
- Do I have to send the money to a PO Box number?
- Do I have to send money by bank transfer?
- Am I asked to keep it confidential?
If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes' then you may be the target of a scam.
Before you part with any money or send any personal details, take advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Service. The chances are, once you have sent money, you will never see it again.
To stop unwanted mail or telephone calls, contact the Telephone Preference Service and the Mail Preference Service, (please note that the TPS does not stop unwanted text messages)
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