How often have you had that “conversation”? While you might feel like you’re past the days of falling for these sorts of scams – or even the old “deposed African royal” emails – it’s important to stay vigilant.
Recently we had a customer contact us to say someone had come to her door claiming to be a surveyor who needed to assess her property. Thankfully she didn’t let him into her house, as the story she told us he gave her was totally untrue!
If someone comes to your house claiming to be from A2Dominion, they will have a staff ID badge with their name and photograph on it, so you can make sure they are who they claim they are. If you are unsure, please call us on 0800 432 0077 to check.
If they are a genuine A2Dominion staff member or contractor, we can always send them back again!
You may have seen stories in the news recently about people going door-to-door claiming to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine and taking people’s money before jabbing a syringe or similar object into them. Don’t let anyone into your home who you are not comfortable with and report them to the police.
Obviously, this is at the more extreme end of the scale, but it’s important to be aware that the NHS is not doing door-to-door vaccinations, nor will getting the vaccine cost you anything. If anyone asks for payment or for your bank details, then it may be a scam.
The NHS has also asked people to be on the lookout for letters, phone calls, emails or SMS messages asking for:
- Bank account details, card details, or any banking information such as your PIN or banking passwords
- Copies of your driving license, passport, bills, or any identifying documents.
Experts recommend you ignore the scammers and don’t respond to their messages. If you have been the victim of a scam or identity theft, report it to Action Fraud.
Dastardly dating deadbeats
Lockdown has been tough if you’re hot, single and ready to mingle, and scammers of all genders are finding new ways to pray on people.
Crime reports relating to dating apps such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Grindr were up 24% in 2020 compared to 2019 with nefarious lotharios making the most of restrictions around seeing people in person. Romance fraud cost victims across the UK an estimated £70m in 2020, with a 20% increase in fraudulent bank transfers compared to 2019.
Scammers will often create multiple fake profiles to scam a bunch of people at the same time, and prey on their victims’ good natures to get money, personal information or even private photos with little to no thought of the emotional toll it can take on their victims. Signs that things might not be as they seem could be:
- Asking a lot of questions about you but are guarded about or gloss over details about themselves
- They accelerate the relationship quickly but seem to keep you at arm’s length
- They appear to need your financial support (for groceries, vet bills, children)
- They have limited photos or have their faces obscured by filters
And while there’s nothing wrong with using dating apps or long-distance relationships, make sure you’re confident in who they are before diving in headfirst.
This is the most common way people might try to scam you. Barely a week goes by when you don’t get a call asking about an accident or claiming to be from HMRC threatening to audit you or take you to court.
The best thing you can do is hang up and google the number used to call you. There are plenty of websites that will tell you if a number is legitimate, or whether other people have reported it as potentially fraudulent.
Although there’s something to be said for stringing the caller along for a couple of minutes too…. Just make sure you don’t give out any private information!
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
Try to write down as many details as you remember and call 101 to report it to the police if the scammer is still in your area or you’ve transferred money to them within the last 24 hours.
You can also visit Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, as they have a range of tools to help you report the scam online and try to recover your lost money or personal details.
If a scam has compromised your financial situation, you can also contact us and we can help.