The coronavirus pandemic has caused much hardship and some online scammers are targeting people’s savings and investments. Be alert to financial scams!
As if the virus that has swept around the world isn’t bad enough there are people out there looking to prey on vulnerable and sometimes desperate people.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England and National Crime Agency are collectively warning people to remain vigilant during challenging times.
Sadly, many people have found themselves struggling to pay bills since the coronavirus started to impact the UK economy.
Jobs have been lost and some people have fallen victim to offers of easy cash to ease financial woes.
When an offer arrives to help resolve money issues it is often hard not to be tempted if all other avenues have been explored.
Who is targeted by money scammers?
Nobody is immune from scammers. We should all remain vigilant and careful where money is concerned.
Online financial scammers are no different from opportunist burglars. They just have a different toolset, namely digital access to many lives.
Research shows that over five million people in the UK have been targeted since March 2020.
It’s no surprise that the most common financial scam relates to banking. Around 60% of victims have had current accounts targeted.
Offers to earn higher rates of interest or become part of money laundering circles are increasingly common.
Essential everyday services are also exploited. About 35% of those being targeted are offered deals on various forms of insurance.
Sadly, one in five people affected reported having been targeted by a pension scam. Many people have looked at drawing cash from retirement funds and the scammers have leapt on this opportunity.
How do I avoid financial scams?
Even the most financially savvy people can fall victim to scammers. The people committing the crimes are skilful, determined and devious.
There are, thankfully, simple guidelines that you can follow to stay safer online:
- If something sounds too good be true, well, it probably is!
- Treat any unexpected call, email or text message with caution.
- Never be pressured into acting immediately. Always think twice. Legitimate banks and financial services companies should never pressure you.
- DO NOT give out your bank account or credit card details unless you are certain who you are dealing with.
The FCA also offers a handy online tool to check investment and pension opportunities to see if they are genuine – www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
If you are unsure about an offer you have received online, by post or on the phone, call the experts.
We are here to help with a range of issues. We are trusted and regulated.
Contact us on 0808 1234 321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options to help make your financial life easier and safer.
Please be aware the value of investments or income from them can fall as well as rise. We’re here to help you make informed decisions.
* Logic Wealth Planning provides independent financial advice in Manchester, Bury, Rochdale, Cheshire and the surrounding area, but not limited to the region.