How to Spot a Financial Scam
Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t be taken in by the hype and false promises. A ‘scam’ is a scheme designed to trick you out of your money. If you haven’t been a victim yourself, you probably know someone who has. You might receive a telephone call or e-mail, or might see an advert in the newspaper or on the internet. Scams can be easily spotted if you know what to look for. They often share common characteristics. Here are some tips on how to recognize a scam:
You will benefit from a sum of money very easily – There’s no such thing as easy money and you’re probably helping criminals to launder money.
You have to give away personal or account information – Trustworthy firms, especially those you already do business with, never normally ask you for this. They may ask you to confirm certain details when you call them, but usually only after going through a standard security process with you first.
You have to make a quick decision – Scammers don’t like to give you time to think about the offer. They will try to pressurise you into making a decision by saying things like “if you don’t act now, you’ll miss out”.
You are contacted unexpectedly – You are contacted by someone you’ve never heard of and you wonder how they got your contact details.
There are several types of scams and the actual way they contact you, and the cover-story they use can vary.