When we read about people falling victim to telephone and online scams, it’s easy to think that it wouldn’t happen to us. That we would recognise the signs of a scam straight away. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
Scams and fraudulent behaviours are on the rise. This means we need to be more vigilant and have a better understanding of the tactics and scams used by criminals. Here we’ll explore the top 4 scams that you could be at risk from in 2021.
Everyone has received nuisance calls at some point. Whether you end up speaking to someone on the other end or are met with complete silence, these calls aim to get people to part with their personal data, banking details or their money. Unfortunately, scams like these are becoming harder to spot, for example, repetitive calls from a genuine number related to Virgin Media are quite common, however when we check this number we can see that it’s replicated and is being used in a scam call by criminals.
Calls like these are incredibly dangerous, however other phone scams include leaving one missed call on your phone which encourages victims to call back – resulting in charges from a premium rate international number, costing you a small fortune. If you’re receiving calls from a number you don’t recognise, do some simple research first. Or if the caller is asking for bank and personal details, hang up immediately.
Criminals will happily take advantage of people who are looking for love and meaningful relationships. Which ultimately, results in victims parting with huge sums of money, either in one transaction or over a long period of time. Some victims have lost their entire life savings to these fraudsters, which are often initiated on dating sites and apps, and even via emails sent to the “wrong person” as a way to instigate contact.
If taking advantage of lonely people wasn’t enough, there has also been a rise in the number of fake charity scams, targeting generous people or simply by pulling at the heartstrings of anyone they can find. By impersonating genuine charities and asking for donations – usually in the wake of a natural disaster or an overseas conflict, animals or children’s charities – criminals can get victims to part with huge sums of cash.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a rise in scams specifically targeted and the elderly and vulnerable population. Using fear and pressure tactics to get innocent victims to hand over their personal details or pay them directly for non-existent services, it’s a rising problem in this country. From vaccination scams, asking people to pay for immunisation access to government impersonation scams and fear mongering, anyone who thinks they have been a victim of a Covid-19 scam should contact the police immediately.
The number of scams designed to trick and confuse victims out of their money and life savings is growing. But, by keeping your finger on the pulse and making yourself aware of the latest scams out there, you’ll be able to keep yourself and your family safe.