Scottish #ScamWatch Week 2021
Anyone can be the target of a scammer. Over the course of the next week, we will be shining a light on the scams impacting Scottish consumers and the ways in which you can avoid being caught out.
Friday 3rd September - HMRC & TAX SCAMS
Scammers claiming to be HMRC are reaching out to consumers via SMS, email, and telephone claiming payment is required, or that fraud has been carried out on National Insurance Numbers. This is a scam!Additionally, consumers have reported receiving calls from scammers claiming they have a warrant out against them for fraud carried out on their National Insurance Number.Avoid pressing any buttons and hang up if unsure.
Could you spot a fake HMRC / Tax Scam?⚠️Avoid interaction with scammers⚠️
⚠️Avoid clicking links / downloading apps⚠️
⚠️Avoid sharing personal & banking info⚠️
⚠️Report suspected scams at scamwatch.scot⚠️
Report suspected scams and suspicious activity using our Quick Reporting Tool at scamwatch.scot.
Thursday 2nd September
- DOORSTEP SCAMS
Doorstep scammers can take the form of rogue traders or fake charity collectors. They may offer services which you don’t really need or attempt to be invited inside your property.
These types of scammers are often scared off when asked for identification, or when you say you will contact their organisation to confirm their credentials.
Remain vigilant and always ask for identification – remember that a legitimate person will never mind being double checked!
You are entitled to say “No” to unsolicited doorstep callers.
The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards run Trusted Trader and Approved Trader Schemes. These can help us find trustworthy traders to carry out work on our homes.
Ask for ID and always double check if unsure!
Don’t be caught out by doorstep scammers!
⚠️Check ID / credentials⚠️
⚠️Double check with the official organisation⚠️
⚠️Don’t be afraid to say no⚠️
⚠️Report suspected scams at scamwatch.scot⚠️
Wednesday 1st September - FINANCIAL & INVESTMENT SCAMS
Investment opportunities can appear to be the answer to our financial problems, but offers of quick or high returns on investment are very often too good to be true.
Clone Firm Scams
Clone firm scams can mimic genuine financial services firms to trick consumers into parting with personal or financial information or hard-earned money. They very often look like the real deal, but can be scammers attempting to trick consumers into paying them for their services or products.
Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency Scams
Bitcoin and other #cryptocurrency scams can promise high returns on investment but end up costing more than you bargained for.
The FCA Warning List is a good place to start when checking out potential investment opportunities. This provides warnings about clone and scam firms in operation, as well as firms claiming to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority that are not.
You can also check Companies House for more information on companies you are considering investing in.
It is also a good idea to check that companies offering financial products are registered with the FCA.
Seeking the advice of an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) can be a good start when making financial decisions and can reduce the risk of us being caught out by scammers. You can find an IFA through websites such as Unbiased.
Tuesday 31st August - DELIVERY SCAMS
Delivery scams can come in different forms, such as text message and email. Scammers have also been known to send unsolicited parcels to addresses as a way of legitimising online reviews. The main types of delivery scams that consumeradvice.scot see are Royal Mail scams, Phishing emails and texts, and occasionally ‘brushing’ scams.
Royal Mail Scams
Scammers claiming to be from Royal Mail reach out to consumers through text message requesting payments for missed or underpaid deliveries.
Don’t be caught out – Avoid clicking links & sharing personal info.
Other Delivery Companies / Phishing Scams
Consumers report texts and emails claiming to be from delivery companies such as DHL, Hermes, Amazon and DPD sharing links to track deliveries.
These can contain viruses and be part of larger phishing scams.
You may be the target of a ‘brushing scam’ if you receive deliveries of items that you never ordered.
This can be online marketplace sellers attempting to fraudulently review items, but can also mean your information is not secure.
It’s always a good idea to regularly change passwords, using memorable ‘passphrases’ as an alternative.
consumeradvice.scot provides consumer advice to Scottish citizens in partnership with the Scottish Government. Scams impact people in Scotland every day, sometimes costing them thousands of pounds. Reporting a scam to us helps us with our work to protect people across the country.
You can report suspected scams and suspicious activity using our Quick Reporting Tool at scamwatch.scot or by calling 0808 164 6000 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
Scams have an impact on Scottish consumers every day, often costing thousands of pounds. Anyone can be the target of a scam, and very often scammers are very convincing in their attempts to defraud us of our personal information or money. Most of us will be the target of a scammer at some point or another.
With information being more readily available, and methods of contact being more accessible, scammers are in a better position than ever to engage with us. The more vulnerable members of our communities are often the preferred targets of scammers because of the belief that they will be easier to deceive, and that they will have difficulty in seeking help, which is not always the case. In 2015, over 50% of those over the
age of 65 said that they had been the target of a scam.
Scammers try to exploit any aspect of their target’s lives, meaning that there are many different kinds of scams, with different approaches to defraud consumers.
Throughout the course of Scottish ScamWatch Week 2021, we will be shining a light on the scams impacting Scottish consumers and the ways in which consumers can reduce exposure to scammers and avoid being caught out.