Scams are getting more and more sophisticated, particularly when it comes to targeting you online and through mobile devices.
Be wary of how you are contacted
Knowing what to look out for when it comes to scams is one of the best ways to protect yourself.
Unsolicited or unexpected contact - If you’ve received any kind of contact, but particularly a phone call, out of the blue, it is best to avoid it.
Email address - If you get an email, check exactly who it has come from, it could say it’s from TV Licensing but if you click or hover over the sender’s name it might reveal something different. If it’s a scam, the email address the message has come from might not match up with the sender’s name, have misspellings, random numbers or be from one of your contacts that’s been hacked.
Text messages – Modern scammers can make their numbers look like ones you trust, like your bank’s. The scam text message might even appear in the same conversation as legitimate texts you’ve had before. This is known as ‘number spoofing’.
Be alert to suspicious requests
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Personal details, full PIN codes and passwords: these are things no legitimate company will ask you for.
Quick decisions: if you are pushed into making a decision on the spot, be suspicious. Scammers don’t want you to have time to think about it. Any legitimate company who calls you won’t mind if you hang up and call them back later. Use the phone number you find on letters from the company or the back of your card.
Random competitions, particularly if you don’t remember entering them, should ring alarm bells.
Spelling errors or poor grammar on emails and in texts are other signs of a scam.
Just in case, don't click links in text messages, and if in doubt, contact the company directly using contact details from their website or correspondence to check whether it’s a real message.
Citizens Advice and Money Helper websites are both reliable resources.
If you want help assessing whether something is a scam, contact PWCAC on 01892 838619.
PWCAC is OPEN for face-to-face advice (appointments and drop-ins) Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 1:30. If you need advice about consumer issues, housing and homelessness, debt, relationship breakdown, welfare benefits or anything else, get in touch with us:firstname.lastname@example.org | 01892 838619, 94 Commercial Road, Paddock Wood, TN12 6DP