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From Instagram offers to cold calls — how scammers try to get hold of your cash and how you can prevent it from happening

5 June 2019

Financial scams only target the elderly, right? Wrong. Any person at any age can become a source of income for fraudsters. On Clever about Cash, Nina Ballantyne of Citizens Advice Scotland revealed some of the many methods she’s seen scammers use to part people from their money.

“[They range from] being contacted on Instagram by a supposed lottery winner, through to being cold called at your home by someone pretending to be from a reputable organisation. You can be doorstepped by somebody offering to do work on your home or garden, and there are also very sophisticated scams where people will claim to be from your bank.

“These ones have been particularly hard for some people to spot.”

How scammers try to get your cash

Nina Ballantyne of CAB Scotland on the variety of scams she’s encountered.

If you have been scammed, Nina advised that it’s important not to feel embarrassed, and to report the wrong-doing.

It’s a crime like any other
Nina Ballantyne, CAB Scotland

“It’s easy to feel that you’ve been taken advantage of, but these are some of the most sophisticated criminals out there and it’s a crime like any other.

“If somebody took £100 out of your pocket in the street you wouldn’t think twice about reporting that to the police. A scam is no different.”

How to avoid scams

It can be easy to fall victim to a scam, but remembering these simple guidelines could keep you safe:-

  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
  • Reputable organisations won’t phone or come to your door out of the blue;
  • No company should put pressure on you to move money or pay for items or services up front;
  • If you’re unsure, take a moment to seek advice from a trusted friend or family member, or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

How to spot a scam

Staying Safe Online: How to spot a scam

Advice from cyber security expert Dr Jessica Barker

On BBC Sounds

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