UK fraud prevention groups are warning individuals to be extra vigilant following a huge increase in the number of scams seeking to exploit the pandemic; as these scams increase in sophistication, we are all vulnerable.
There have been warnings from several UK bodies, including the Bank of England, National Crime Agency, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) urging people to be vigilant. The warnings are aimed, in particular, at those who may have lost their jobs or are under financial pressure and may betempted by scammers.
Over five million people in the UK have fallen victim to, or know someone who has been duped by, a financial scam since the beginning of the virus outbreak.
The most common financial scams relate to banking, accounting for 60% of victims, followed by 35% being targeted by an insurance scam. One in five reported having been targeted by a pension scam amid an increase in fraudsters offering free pension reviews.
Be a ScamSmart investor
The FCA has an online scam checker where you can check an investment or pension opportunity which can be found here: www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
Government advice to protect yourself from fraud includes checking the company’s credentials via a reliable source such as the FCA’s Financial Services Register, being wary of deals that sound too good to be true, not clicking on links from unknown senders, not giving out personal details and seeking professional financial advice before making any decisions. The official advice can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/news/bevigilant-against-coronavirus-scams
Guidance in uncertain times
Anxiety and financial pressure can make us more vulnerable to fraud, so if you are unsure about any financial opportunities, please contact us. We’re here to keep you and your finances safe during this period of uncertainty.