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Top Tips to Avoid Scams and Frauds
 

Beware Caller ID

Beware Caller ID

A number flashes up on your phone identifying the call as coming from your bank.

Calling Line Identity can be used to screen the calls you want to answer from the ones you don't. The fraudsters can deliberately change the Caller ID (known as spoofing) to hide their identity or try to mimic the number of a real company or a caller. If someone asks for money or personal information, hang up and call back later if you think the number is genuine.

Robocalls

Robocalls

You answer to a phone call where you hear a recorded sales pitch. Some illegal calls can be made to the users where the products offered are bogus. You should not press the numbers that connect your call to the sales representative who may talk with the aim of acquiring personal information of the client.

Unsolicited Phone Calls

Unsolicited Phone Calls

You get repeated calls from a low-quality unauthorised call centre representatives or boiler room sales brokers who tell you about how many people are already invested into the scheme, even when you are not asking about it.

Make sure to check the credibility of the firm you are dealing with at the local consumer protection agency site. Get advice from a government body, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or an independent professional financial adviser you trust before responding to any such request.

Beware of a Broker

Beware of a Broker

A person claims to have a “special connection” or “inside information” not available to the general public, that can give you help to earn huge money through investments.

Making money on such “inside information” is illegal. There is no secret way to any kind of legitimate scheme. Avoid such offers to invest as they are scams or frauds.

Spot Imposters

Spot Imposters

You are contacted by a company's executive, who pretends to be someone you trust, like a government official, a charity, or a company you are dealing with.

Keep yourself safe from deals where you get a cold call, or an email, or a message on social media, out of the blue. Ignore tactics like "we talked last year" or “some time ago you showed interest in”.

Unsolicited Pitch

Unsolicited Pitch

You get an unsolicited pitch from amicable sales representative to invest.

to anyone, check out the story delivered by the con artists who pretend to be the sales representatives. They use techniques like threatening or pressurizing to access such details. Type the name of the company (or the product name) with words like review/complaint or scam to find out about the sellers. Get cautious of the pump and dump kind of offers where they give offshore investment deals.

Guard Your Personal Information

Guard Your Personal Information

You are contacted by an unauthorised agency offering guaranteed profits. Initially, they get you some returns or offer a free holiday trip, to make you believe in the scheme. The representative may request you to maintain secrecy and ask about your previous investments. They may use a chain of tricks to appear legal.

Guard your personal information as they try to verify it. They may be asking questions to gain access to private financial information.

Be Careful About What You Share

Be Careful About What You Share

The sales representative tries to create friendship to generate a false sense of security. They prey upon members of the family or the social circle.

You should not provide your bank account number, credit card details to unknown company's representatives and you should not disclose such information about your relatives and friends.

Ponzi or Pyramid Schemes

Ponzi or Pyramid Schemes

You are asked to invest in unregulated evergrowing unauthorised non-traditional sectors like carbon trade, land banking, forex, graphene or Ponzi pyramid schemes, where you have to first invest to start making money. Such firms may talk about guaranteed returns in Chinese investments in gold, wine or rare-earth metals.

You should know that all types of investments come with risks but scams promise to get you phantom riches. Always avoid get rich quick schemes as they are more than likely scams or frauds.

Pressure Tactics

Pressure Tactics

Contacting repeatedly using different techniques, trying to keep the clients engaged, and later pressurizing them to make a quick decision where you get messages from a company to make quick investments in a scheme, and if you are not interested, they may call and tell how much you are losing by not accepting the offer. They use pressure tactics where you are offered a limited-time deal with heavy bonus and attractive discounts, to sign up before a deadline.

Do not believe in such claims and do not fall for the fancy job titles. Never go for time-limited offers and never feel obliged. Always check such investment proposals with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or an independent professional financial adviser you trust before responding to any such request.

The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect

The sales team member of an investment firm appears highly trustworthy and credible. He says the deal is so lucrative that everyone is buying and you will miss a great chance by not investing.

Watch out for pitches stating “everyone is investing”, it could be a red flag. Scammers lure investors by offering free services, lunch and by giving a big favour. They may appear to be giving you special treatment, gifts, discounts etc. One should never take any decision in haste and avoid getting trapped into such favours.

Take Control of Your Digital Life

Take Control of Your Digital Life

You may receive an email from known or unknown user like bank, government office etc. where you are asked to click on a hyperlink and open an attachment to enter the financial details.

One should ignore and delete the email immediately, even if the email appears to be from your bank or Credit Card Company as it's more likely a scam known as pharming.

Stay Safe Online

Stay Safe Online

The salesperson creates an impression that they are into a legitimate business where they show convincing web information and authorized records of their work to support their claims.

Don't respond or click on any links, even if it looks like it's from a real organization. Don't give out personal information in response to any such unforeseen request — whether it comes as a phone call, text, or an email.

Message Board Postings

Message Board Postings

You get investment-related emails, message board postings and news from a company which appears reliable. The company claims to get you guaranteed gains from the breakout stock pick or the kind of investment with no risk.

One should know about the business of the company before investing. Look for the financial statements and know the ones claiming with no risk and huge profits – indicate outright fraud. All forms of high return offers entail higher risks and the claims like “money-back guarantee” or “can't miss” indicate fraudulent deals.

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