Scammers are picking the pockets of millions of innocent people. Almost 5 million older people (65+) believe they have been targeted by scammers. Pensioners and hard-up households face invasion through their computers, phones, letterboxes, and on the doorstep. People lose an estimated £10bn to fraud every year.
There are however some common sense checks that we can all use to fight back against the fraudsters.
Top tips for dealing with scams:
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• Never give out your bank details or send money unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you.
• Contacted out of the blue? Be suspicious.
• Your bank will never telephone you to ask if they can collect your bank card from you, ask for your PIN, ask for your passwords or come to your home.
• Make sure the website is secure – if you are buying online, check for the padlock or “https” next to the web address
• It you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t win it.
• You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
• Pressure to make a decision straight away? Take your time and just say: “No thank you”.
• Walk away from adverts that ask for money in advance.
• Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
• Don’t suffer in silence – tell others about scams.
• If you have suffered fraud, ensure you report it to the police or your bank, depending upon the type of fraud.
For more information about protecting yourself from scams and protecting your personal and financial information click here to visit Citizens Advice. We're also holding a scam awareness member event at our Mutual House branch on 5 June – click here for more details and to register.