New scams – old scams

June 30th, 2016 | Posted by Lynn Strother in Business | London | Older People | Scams

I am sorry that I am once again repeating the warnings about scams, and you will say that we know all this, but there has been an alert that scams are yet again on the increase and people need to be very aware.

There is of course the old scam of telling people they are their bank and often giving a surprising number of details about you. It is always something to do with your account – needs updating – unusual activity etc. The request then comes through to either give your bank details over the phone or a security messenger will call and pick up your card. They even suggest that you ring your bank to check that this is not a scam but if you use the same telephone – the scammers are still on the line so obviously they answer the phone with your bank’s name. The other scams include calls offering funeral services and asking you to sign up and also ‘special offer’ boiler repairs or new boilers. They all sound very plausible and in your busy life at times we  all do things without always thinking it through.

Whatever you do never give your bank or building society details out. No self respecting bank will ever ask for those details over the phone and never give your card to anyone, even when they are dressed as the police. It is better to feel over cautious than to lose all your hard earned savings. It is also important to inform the police as soon as possible and it is very helpful if you have the sort of phone that gives the number of the person calling. Don’t avoid telling the police because you feel foolish – we all get conned at some time or other and the police will be sympathetic and hopefully they will be able to take action to prevent it happening to any one else. It is also important to inform your bank or building society as soon as possible so they can put a stop onto your account.

Again there is the continued concern about on-line fraudsters asking for your details to update your account, offering services, telling you the good news that you have won a large amount of money on a lottery or something you have never heard of, like a friend is in trouble abroad.  This is what your delete button is for – use it without making any contact.

Another type of scam that is rearing it’s ugly head and particularly targeted at older women are well dressed middle aged or older women speaking with a cultured English voice  stopping women and asking for help as her handbag has been stolen and she needs the bus fare to get home. Very chatty and very very plausible and we all know how distressed we would feel if our handbag had been snatched. When you are delving into your handbag in the middle of the street you tend not to be holding onto the bag very tightly and so that is when the bag is snatched. Although it is in our nature to help another person in distress – please walk on and report it to the police as soon as possible even if they haven’t snatched your bag – the police need to know that people are on the prowl.

Of course there is a new possibility now we are in a Brexit situation. People calling to offer help with savings, stocks and shares etc. If it is a cold caller – put the phone down or shut the door and let the police know.

You really wonder what these people will come up with next and the sad thing is that they obviously have some brains and intelligence which could be put to much better use to improve their own lives, but I suppose greed is the motivation without care of the consequences and the distress of victims.

Keep safe and let us know if you have had scammers contacting you and how they did it.

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