Nottingham folk urged to speak to friends and family if they fear they're being scammed
Nottingham residents are being urged to talk to friends and family if they suspect they’re being targeted by con artists.
Research from Citizens Advice found that 68 per cent of people targeted by a scam do not tell anyone about it, including friends, family or the organisation being impersonated, as well as the relevant authorities.
In the past year there has been a significant increase in the number of financial-services scams, as fraudsters exploit pressures that the Covid pandemic is putting people under.
These include fake ‘get rich quick’ investment schemes, which are often promoted on social media with promises of big returns.
Other financial scams include phone calls, texts or emails pretending to be from a bank, the Government or other organisations, and offers of pension reviews that come out of the blue.
When making financial decisions, there are some things people can do to minimise the risk of being scammed.
Don’t give money or bank details to anyone you don’t know or have only met online and be wary of unexpected contact.
Be cautious of investment opportunities, particularly if they seem too good to be true, and seek professional advice before making any decisions.
Research whoever you’re dealing with as almost all financial services firms must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – if they’re not, it’s probably a scam:
You can check the FCA’s financial services register here to see if a firm or individual is authorised or registered.
Be extra careful if the contact is overseas and if you can’t check the firm is authorised with a regulator in that country, don’t transfer any money.
Check the FCA warning list here to check the risks of a potential investment.
Reporting a scam helps authorities to stop the criminals responsible and protects others from falling victim.
Forward scam text messages to 7726, and emails to [email protected]
If a person sees an advert or is messaged through social media, it’s important remember to report the profile to the platform.
In the case of a financial scam, people should contact their bank in-branch or on the number on the back of their card, plus Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud, here as soon as possible.
Coun Neghat Khan, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, safety and inclusion at the council, said: “Our officers support many people every year who have unfortunately fallen victim to scams, as well as trying to promote wider safety messages to the public.
“The aim is to stop people becoming victims in the first place, but we will also be there to help if someone has been affected.
"The key thing is for people to talk to others if they think someone is trying to con them.
“What makes this such a distressing crime is that elderly and vulnerable people are deliberately targeted because scammers know they have a greater chance of success. During the uncertainty and anxiety of a global pandemic, this behaviour is even more despicable.
“We hear stories about victims in Nottingham who have been tricked out of very substantial sums of money – sometimes life savings. It is a constant battle but we will continue to stand up for these people and protect them in any way we can.”
For further advice, click here, or call 0808 2231133.