Following on from our blog yesterday on Police Scotlands Campaign to stop doorstep scammers we wanted to remind our community of some of the most well-known scams.
Fake emails – emails that appear to be from HMRC, BT, asking you to follow the link saying that you are owed a rebate or are due them money. Either way, they will ask you to follow the link then ask you enter your bank details where they will then proceed to take funds from your account.
Genuine companies will not ask you to do this. Always use genuine numbers to call companies and not those listed on any email. Fake calls – callers report to be from large companies generally internet based saying there is a problem with your internet and they will ask you to log on with your computer. They will then either guide you through various steps until they have control of your computer where they will look for bank details again or ask you to enter details to their “secure” email.
Your internet company will not cold call you and ask you do to do this. A clue is often the caller will not know which company you are with, they will not know your full name and address, they will not know how you pay your bill (quarterly/direct debit), they will not know all the services you already have. Do not give your details, ask questions and you find they hang up. Fake calls – caller pretends to be from HMRC saying you owe them tax and ask you to provide bank account details then take your money. This is not how HMRC will deal with unpaid tax. They can also pretend to be from your bank and say there is strange activity on your account and ask you to transfer money to a “safe” account they have set up. Do not do this it is another scam and they will take your money. These people can sound very convincing and it is their job to get your money.
Doorstep crime – Callers to the door offering services such as gardening or home maintenance at inflated prices, or offering to do a minor job such as cleaning guttering then pretending they have noticed a more serious problem and asking for more money. They might have a company name on their vehicle but it is not normally local and tend to have only a mobile number listed. If you need a job done then get a quote from more than one tradesman so you can compare prices or ask by word of mouth who to use. There are websites that also show trusted companies and independent reviews.
The Little Book of Big Scams is a good website that lists all common scams.