July is scam awareness month and here at Ballymena Today we think that this is an important topic to shout about. Lots of scams are sound incredibly plausible and are very cleverly designed to fool us. However lots of people who have fallen victim to scams may feel embarrassed to talk about it or ask for help.
That is why we love this years theme ‘don’t be rushed, don’t be hushed’. The campaign is designed to encouraging people to take their time and think carefully before handing over money or personal information, and to speak out if they think they’ve spotted a scam.
How to spot a scam
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scams aim to fool you into parting with your cash. You usually get nothing in return and lose your money. Scams are getting more sophisticated and difficult to spot so it’s important to know what to look for.
There are some signs that should set alarm bells ringing wherever you see them. Be wary if:
- something sounds too good to be true
- you’ve won a competition or prize, but you haven’t entered or bought a ticket
- you’re asked to give out personal or bank account information
- you aren’t given long to make a decision or you feel pressured into making one immediately
- you’re contacted unexpectedly by a company or person you have never heard of, by post, email, phone, text or on the doorstep
- you’re asked to pay anything up-front
- the only contact details are a mobile phone number and a PO box address
And keep in mind, your bank will:
- never visit your home to collect cash, your pin, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud
- never phone or email you to ask for your PIN or your online banking password
- never ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons
Find out more about how to spot a scam, the types of scams out there and what you can do to report them here and also read more about Scam Awareness Month.