There are various forms of scams - such as lotteries, prize draws, and investment schemes.

How to Spot a Scam

There are a number of signs to look out for:

1icon Being contacted out of the blue (also known as 'unsolicited') by telephone, post or email

1icon The offer is too good to be true

1icon Being asked to pay money up-front or to buy a product in order to claim your prize

1icon If there is a deadline by which you must claim your prize

1icon When contacted, if the person calling is overly familiar and friendly with you

1icon Being notified that you have won a ‘prize’ but have not knowingly entered into a competition

1icon Being asked for your bank account, credit card details or other confidential information

1icon Being told that you need to keep the offer a secret

If any of this seems familiar you maybe facing or have faced a scam.

How do Scams Work?

eccncg b Potential scammers will try to catch you unawares; this increases their chance of being able to convince you to part with your money or personal information.

eccncg b The organisation will try to make the offer to good for you to refuse; this preys on vulnerable people and people who may be in financial difficulties. Remember - if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

eccncg b
Many of these operations ask you to pay a fairly nominal fee or purchase an inexpensive item to claim your prize. This makes it seem as though you have little to lose. But the demand for money does not stop there; you will be asked for more money to cover an increasing list of fees and taxes. Your card details may even be used to draw large amounts of money from your account.

eccncg b You are put under pressure to make a decision by only being given a short time frame in which to claim your prize; this affects how much time you take consider the offer, and you are more likely to make the wrong decision.

eccncg b By becoming friendly with you, the potential scammer is trying to create a relationship where you are likely to trust the information they are providing you and make you believe you are a winner.

eccncg b You cannot win a competition that you have not entered.

eccncg b By asking you to keep this offer a secret, you are less likely to talk to family and friends who may point out the problems with the offer, and therefore will not receive the correct advice on how to deal with it.

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