How to identify and avoid common types of scams

Here at Penrith Building Society, we are passionate about helping people avoid being a victim of fraud. Below you will find information about the types of scams that you could be affected by and some pointers that should help you to identify if that phone call or email is trying to catch you out.

Pension Scams

Since the introduction of Pension Freedoms in April 2015 people have had access to their pension pots and scammers have been making the most of this by conning millions of people out of their hard-earned cash. If you receive an unsolicited call or email asking you about your pension, always ensure that you do all you can to verify they are who they claim to be, if in doubt do not respond.

Investment Scams

These are usually initiated with an unexpected phone call, letter, email or social media message. They may offer opportunities that sound too good to be true and they probably are too good to be true. These types of scams are extremely dangerous because the losses are potentially huge. Always consider your options carefully before you make a decision. Try using the ‘How to spot a Scam’ questions below

Phone, text & Email Scams

Fraudsters use fake emails (phishing), texts (smishing) or phone calls (vishing) to pretend to be a genuine company like your bank or building society, the HMRC or sometimes even the police. They will quite often ask for bank details or for you to follow the “link” which can download malicious software or call a premium number. If in doubt contact the company directly to confirm they have been trying to get in touch.

Tech Support Scams

People are targeted with a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or Windows, telling you that there is a problem with your computer and that if you give them a one-off fee, they can access your computer remotely and fix the problem. What they actually do is collect the fee and then use the access you have given them to hack into your private files and even your online banking which can result in them being able to access your bank account and steal your savings. Do not give anyone remote access to your devices unless you trust them. Try to use a reputable repairer if you are having problems or contact the company you bought your
device from.

How to spot a Scam:

Spotting a scam can be difficult and fraudsters can be very cunning; the below are seven common signs of a scam. Remember to ask yourself these questions before handing over any details. If the answer is yes to any of these say NO.

Did they contact you out of the blue?
Is the deal too good to be true?
Are you asked to share personal details?
Have you been pressurised to respond quickly?
Are their contact details vague?
Are there any spelling or grammatical mistakes?
Did they ask you to keep it quiet?