3 Common Scams You Need To Be Aware Of

Scams and online fraud account for over 40% of criminal activity in the UK, and between April 2022 and March 2023, there were over 3,5 million incidents involving people aged 16 and over in the UK.

Falling victim to a scam can be extremely worrying and have massive implications on your lifestyle and finances. Sadly, too many people are still fooled by scammers; as seen on the BBC 1 show Scam Interceptors and the methods used by unscrupulous scammers are becoming more sophisticated, manipulative and conniving as they go through the process of trying to obtain money and items that don’t belong to them.

Knowing the scam is part of being able to stay safe, and this post is going to look at a few of the more common scams seen in the UK to help you stay wise to criminals and their devious tactics.

3 Common Scams You Need To Be Aware Of - scam image
Photo by Anna Tarazevich:

Amazon Scam

The Amazon scam is quite possibly one of the most common and even well-known scams. What happens is you get a call from someone pretending to be from Amazon (FYI, amazon will never call you out of the blue, so this should be a sign to hang up). Continuing the amazon scams approach, the caller will try to convince you someone is attempting to use your account to buy something expensive, and they’re going to hippo you to stop this by finding the person responsible and preventing you from losing money. The opposite is likely to happen.

Hi Mum

The “Hi Mum” scam is carried out via Whatsapp or text message. And it will simply be a message from an unknown number saying hi, mum. You will then be expected to respond with your child’s name to check if it’s them and ask why they are contacting you from a different number. They will then use this to ask you for money to go to an account you probably won’t recognise again, telling you a story as to why. If in doubt, don’t respond. Call the actual number for your child to talk to them directly.

Missed Delivery

Missed delivery texts or email scams are becoming more popular as more and more people use delivery services for good delivery. You will typically be told you need to pay an additional fee to have your parcel released, something which most companies don’t do unless import fees have not been covered, and this is usually relayed to you prior to delivery from the courier service or you will have a card posted through your door via Royal Mail.

To avoid flailing victims of any of these scams:

  1. Always hang up and use another method of communication to contact the company in question directly via usual methods, not using any suggestions from the potential scammer.
  2. Avoid giving them access to your phone by downloading an app or any other software they suggest.
  3. If they become pushy or impatient with you, then this is a clear indicator of a scam, and you should end all communications.
  4. If in doubt, call your bank or other associated accounts to protect your details and stop any transactions.

The more you know about the different scams and tactics used by scammers, the easier it is to spot different scams and stay safe.

Signs That You Are Being Scammed

More and more people are being scammed right under their noses without them noticing, it is a common part of internet life. Scammers are becoming incredibly sophisticated, they are much harder to spot nowadays with scammers using very malicious methods in order to extract money or information from you that may prove disastrous. Scams come in all shapes and sizes. They are constantly changing and adapting and thus the methods for how to spot a scam are always changing. However, there are some very tell-tell signs that a scam is occurring. This post will help you locate the signs and methods that scammers will take in order to steal from you.  However, to prevent scammers from getting hold of your information to begin with then these are the ways to spot whether you may be being scammed:

Signs That You Are Being Scammed - online scam fraud phishing image
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Being Contacted Out Of The Blue

Companies don’t often contact you randomly either through email or phone calls. This is especially true for companies that have never contacted you before. whether online, on the phone, or face to face, be wary if you are being asked for your money or any sensitive information. In this scenario, you should halt any further communication with the source of the suspicious call/email and contact the company directly. Call their number and ask if the contact you received was legitimate, but do not provide any of your details. 

If You’re Being Rushed

No legitimate company will ask you for your bank details or account information with any unreasonable deadline.  The scammers will also rush you in the process and employ a sense of fear ad use scare tactics to prevent you from making any sort of sound or rational judgment. If you are in this position immediately hang up the phone, and provide no further information. 

Being Asked For Your Bank Information

It is the policy now for banks not to ask for any and all bank information in an email or over the phone. They will never ask you for this. However, you have received a phone call from somebody posing as your bank, even if they sound legitimate, if they start asking you for your personal details or sensitive information, they are attempting to extract it from you in order to use it for malicious reasons. If at any point you become suspicious of someone saying they are from your bank, hang up and call them back from a number the official bank website has written on its ‘contact us’ page.

Hopefully, this list has been helpful and provided you with useful information on how to spot a scam when they present itself. If you believe that a scam is occurring or you notice that there is suspicious activity on your accounts then the first port of call is to report it immediately. Ultimately if you are being scammed the authorities are the best people to help you resolve your cause and begin the recovery process. There are also ways to claim back any losses that you may have experienced from the scamming such as through wealth recovery solicitors.