A fifth of all scams reported to Citizens Advice’s Consumer Service are related to financial or legal services.
New data from Citizen’s Advice reveals that financial and legal service scams have risen by 6%, with the median financial loss to consumers being £330 in this financial year. This means that a fifth of all scams reported are related to these types of services. Following the news that around 26% of all adults have received some form of cold call regarding their pensions, the government have moved to ban pensions cold calls altogether in an attempt to reduce the number of scams. This may not be enough to stop people falling for scams however, as fraudsters are using more sophisticated ways of targeting individuals.
Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said:
“Fraudsters are using new technology to peddle old tricks, posing as trustworthy professionals with persuasive offers. Anyone can fall victim to these sophisticated scams, but all too often it’s the victim rather than the scammer who are left feeling sheepish. This isn’t right”.
Be aware of the signs that you are being scammed. If there is a financial aspect involved, you should always take extra precautions. The Money Advice Service have outlined a number of signals you should look out for when coming into contact with potential scams...
- If you have received any kind of unexpected, unsolicited contact, particularly via the telephone, it is advisable to ignore it.
- If you receive an email, expand the pane at the top of the message to see exactly who the email has come from. If it is a scam, the email address will not be sent from an address associated with the company it claims to be from (like a bank for example). It may be filled with random numbers, or be misspelled in some way.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Low risks with big returns very rarely exist, so be aware of any bold promises.
- Do not be rushed into making any quick decisions. Scammers aim to confuse, and leave you with very little time to think things through.