Too many scams!! Bank Cards or Bogus tradesmen!! Can we avoid them?
I have read numerous newspaper and online reports of people who have found themselves victims of bank card scams. It is depressing reading. This can happen to anyone, but sadly the stand-out for me, is that this usually involves someone who is elderly and vulnerable. Usually, the elderly victims of the bank card scam are isolated, vulnerable, sometimes unwell and so to the everyday fraudster, and easy target for them. Isolation and loneliness is highest amongst our elderly and because of this, they do not always have someone to speak with as a "sounding board" to find out if what has been offered or discussed with them is true or dishonest. And of course because they are elderly and so retired, usually always at home when the fraudsters call them - either over the phone or at their door, when the scammers call. Being a victim of any scam is traumatic, emotional, (both financially & physically) and causes huge mental distress to the victim. By way of suffering a roller-coaster of anxiety, shame and depression. Your local Police will be able to provide you with further help and advice on this area. And some of the following information/instructions (shown below) will help better protect you in later life.
- Do not allow any unexpected or unknown callers into your home. Utilities providers should ALWAYS make an appointment with you in advance and provide YOU with formal identification of the company they work for. - If anyone you do not know calls at your door wanting to check something, such as checking your gas/electric meters, then always ask for company identication and call their employers to check who they say they are. If the person calling is legit, they will have no problem providing you with this information, so that you are 100% happy with letting them in. - Sometimes, callers will ask to come inside and then distract you - leaving the front door open - for their partner in crime to slip upstairs without you knowing. And then continuing to rob you. - Avoid doing any business with doorstep tradesmen or builders that are trying to trick you into doing work that isn't needed. Or even if it is, it will be vastly overpriced. Usually these bogus trademen/builders will ask for payment up front so that they can buy materials. Often once payment is received, the work isn't done or they do a poor job and ask for more money to complete more work that isn't required.
Another scheme that can help in this area, is The Nominated Neighbour Scheme. The Nominated Neighbour Scheme was launched by the Police, various charities and Trading Standards to help reduce the number of offences involving bogus callers and rogue traders. The Nominated Neighbour scheme works by allowing the vulnerable person to nominate a local neighbour, so that when someone calls at their home, who they don't recognise or trust, they will show the caller a NNS leaflet which will direct the caller to the nominated neighbour's address, so that their identity can be checked/verified. For more information on this, please call: 0800 389 5013
Another scam are telephone scams, that involve callers claiming to be calling from the bank, the fraud office, or even the Police, saying that their bank cards security has been compromised or are faulty and can't be used. The caller will ask for your bank card's pin number and that they are sending a courier to collect the bank cards so that they can be replaced. This is merely a trick or ploy to take money from your bank account. In the real world, if your bank were to call they would never ever ask for your bank card details. As they should already know all your details anyway. In fact, they would always discourage you from doing so. Never ever reveal your bank account details, including your pin number to anyone. There are also phone and postal scams circulating, whereby you are told that you are the beneficiary of a financial account of a deceased person, or that you have won the lottery or a contest - that you may not even have entered. During the phone conversation you are promised substantial sums of money for as long as you provide an up-front payment to cover administration costs etc. Again this is no more than a scam, and often if it sounds too good to be true, then it is. This type of scam usually involves you handing over sums of money with the expected end result of getting much bigger financial reward - sadly this is never ever the case. It is no more than a scam that will bring further heartache and pain.