It’s important to always keep an eye out for scams, they can affect anyone. Below we outline our simple steps to protect yourself as well as outlining one of the more popular scams, Loan Fee Fraud.
Things to Look Out For
Stay vigilant by recognising these six warning signs of potential scams:
- You receive an offer that seems too good to be true
- You're asked to send personal information
- Someone unknown contacts you unexpectedly
- You feel like you're not dealing with a legitimate company
- You're asked to transfer money quickly
- You're asked to pay in an unusual way
Steps to Protect Yourself
Protect yourself from scams with these six proactive measures:
- Never give out personal information
- Ensure your devices have up-to-date antivirus software
- Use strong passwords for all your accounts
- Ask for identification before allowing anyone into your home
- Verify website security with "HTTPS" instead of "HTTP"
- Never respond to scammer emails and be wary of spelling mistakes and suspicious sender email addresses
The Impact of Loan Fee Fraud
During these challenging times, scammers are seizing the opportunity to exploit vulnerable individuals through an increasingly common tactic known as loan fee fraud. This scam preys on those seeking financial relief, promising loans in exchange for upfront fees, only to leave victims empty-handed.
Loan fee fraud intensifies financial pressures, especially during holiday seasons when the worry about personal finances is at its highest.
The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has cast a financial shadow in recent times with 71% of individuals experiencing a decrease in disposable income so it is vital to protect yourself from scammers.
The Three-Step Check
Before making any decisions related to loans, it's crucial to pause and perform the three-step check. Have you been in any of the following situations:
- Cold called?
- Asked to pay an upfront fee?
- Pressured to pay quickly or unusually?
If so, stop and reconsider your decision to move forward.
Support for You
We urge residents to remain vigilant and follow safety advice. If you suspect you've fallen victim to a scam, here are some useful contacts for you:
Citizens Advice or call 0808 223 1133