How to spot a scam
Have you had an offer to invest some money or have you been told that you have won a prize? The paperwork may look professional or the call may seem genuine but it could be an attempt to get you to part with your money. A scam is anything that makes you think you will benefit from something when you actually lose out.
Here are some tips to help spot a scam:
- Does an offer sound too good to be true?
- Did I receive a call out of the blue?
- Do I have to provide my bank or credit card details?
- How can I have won a competition I have not entered?
- Do I have to ring or fax a premium rate number?
- Has the letter come from overseas?
- Is the address a PO Box number?
- Are you rushed into making a decision e.g. you might be told that you must reply straight away or the money will be given to someone else?
- Do I have to make a purchase to win a prize?
- Are they very persistent and will not take no for an answer?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, be cautious. Remember if an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Resist the temptation to respond - once you respond to bogus promotions, your name and address is likely to be placed on other lists for similar scams.
Do not give your bank or credit card details to anyone unless you know who they are and you know what you are getting for your money.
Be sceptical – why would someone who doesn’t know you want to give you something for nothing?
If you spot a scam tell your family and friends so that they don’t get conned.]