THE Which? consumer organisation has issued new guidelines to suggest how people can protect themselves from fraud after it emerged that around one in ten people have fallen for a scam.
UK consumers lose more than £6bn a year from fraudsters – with one of the most common methods being an email telling people their bank account or computer security had been breached.
Among the most common scams uncovered by Which? are phone calls in which people are asked for bank details, lottery scams which ask for bank details to claim a prize and security scams – alleging porn has been detected on their computer and asking for £100 to clean it up.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Some scams are very sophisticated and tricky to spot, but the golden rule is always if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“Your personal and financial details are precious, so if in doubt, double-check exactly who you are dealing with efore giving anything away.”
Which? has compiled a checklist of seven ways to spot a scam:
Consumers should be wary if they are contacted out of the blue, if the deal seems too good to be true, if they are asked for financial details or an upfront fee and if they are put under pressure to respond quickly.
Additional warning signs are vague contact details – such as a contact address which is a post office box number – and emails which contain grammatical errors or spelling mistakes and consumers should also be wary if they are asked to keep the matter confidential.
A survey of Which? members found that one in ten people had fallen for some sort of scam over the last five years.
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