Don’t be scammed!
27 Jan 2014
There's an increase in scams aimed at the elderly over recent months that we'd like to highlight to you all.We want our leaseholders to be safe and so we've highlighted some very common scams that you may or may not be aware of. We all know about the obvious ones from Nigeria etc, but this latest batch are more subtle and often quite believable.Telephone callers or emails that claim to be from:
- well known charities and request your bank account details. You may be asked to give your bank details again
- a bank or utility saying you've missed a payment and are asked to re-submit your bank account details
- mail services such as UPS or FedEx stating that they've tried to deliver a parcel, then request times when you're likely to be in (or out!) and may ask for payment
- a friend of yours asking you for a loan or money with details of how to pay money into their account, often with some urgent sob story
- a competition to say you've won a fantastic prize/money and they need your details in order for you to claim it
If you receive such a call, or if anyone phones or emails you asking for your bank details, you should hang up or delete the email.You should NEVER EVER give your details in this way. If a stranger appeared on your doorstep asking for the same information, naturally, you would be very cautious of them.They know that. And that's why they use other methods to get you to part with your money. You should also always check bank and credit card statements for any unexpected transactions.
All too often, these Scammers realise that it is the 'older' generation who like to make sure they pay their bills on time, and if questioned about outstanding balances, are often only too keen to rectify any outstanding debt or query.
Chris Wright one of our Board members has been approached himself by a few scams, and it was thanks to his 30 years experience in the financial sector that set the alarm bells ringing for him when he receive the call. One email falsely claimed to be from HM Revenue and Customs!
Chris is all too well aware of potential scams and gives his top tips:
'If you receive a call where you're asked to give out personal details remember my top tips:
- Always offer to call the person back. Get a reference number and call back on a verified company telephone number and not the one they give you.
- Don't give out any personal details about yourself until you are sure of the identity of the caller. They rang you and should prove who they are - not the other way around! For example, your bank will never ask you for a PIN number
If your receive an email you're unsure of::
- NEVER click on the suggested link
- Don't give out any personal details about yourself
- Make sure you have up to date firewall/virus protection on your pc
- Be wary of odd/out of character emails from friends and relations which ask you to click on links, or ask for money from you.'
Chris has also suggested some very useful sites from a collection of fraud prevention resources that you might find useful to read:
Age UK produce a great document which gives advice specifically targeted at the elderly including online scams.
Remember, be careful when taking calls from strangers or reading un-solicitored emails.Chances are, they're after your hard earned money.