Don’t be April-fooled by scammers

It’s not just April 1st that people are trying to “fool” you.  Scammers are trying to fool you out of your money all year round.

Scammers continue to come up with new and more convincing ways of parting people with their money, or to get them to disclose personal information.  And there’s no typical victim.  Scammers will try different techniques to try and hit people with the right scam at the right time.

One of the most prevalent scams in the Insurance industry is “Ghost Brokers”.  They particularly target young drivers with cheaper insurance cover than other brokers.  Everything looks credible with professional websites and documentation but, when the victim comes to make a claim, they find out that the Policy isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and find out that the broker doesn’t exist!  If it seems too good to be true, it usually isn’t.

Other popular scams include:

  • Identify Theft, Phishing and Pharming This is where a scammer sends an email, text message or calls your phone and pretends to be an organisation, or individual you trust to gain access to confidential information national insurance numbers, date of birth etc. and then apply for credit cards, loans or other financial transactions using your details.
  • Phone scams: We’ve all had those calls supposedly from Amazon, BT or other organisation we may, or may not, have a telelemarketers will ignore Telephone Preference Society or other “call blocker” services you may have subscribed to and pretend to be an organisation you may be associated with to get you gain personal details or get you to pay them money. Banks and other reputable organisations will never ask you to disclose confidential information over the phone and, if in doubt, politely hang up.
  • Scam Text Messages: Scammers send messages directly to your mobile phone pretending to be from your mobile phone provider, bank, Royal Mail etc., often using the organisation’s logo, asking you for a payment or request to reactivate your card by following a link within the message.  The website the link takes you to may look authentic, but don’t fall for this trick. If in doubt, contact the organisation using the contact details they have provided to check the authenticity of any message if you’re unsure. 
  • You’ve won a prize:  This seems to be a common scam with emails arriving in your inbox or junk mail telling informing you you’ve won a prize.  Simply click the link to find out more.  Again, this is a way of reaching out to unsuspecting individuals via their personal email address to gain access to their personal information and hard earned cash.
  • Internet shopping scams: Buying items online is part of everyday life nowadays, but always be on your guard to make sure you buy items from reputable organisations.  Items aren’t always as pictured or described when they arrive at your door and some items don’t turn up at all and there’s no recourse to get your money back. 

Make sure you don’t get scammed and look out and, if in doubt, check it out.