10 scams to be aware of - Scam Watch Autumn 2022

Scammers are still scamming, so please read this update about current scams so you can be better prepared, particularly during this year's Get Online Week (17 - 23 October). 

In this semi-regular series, I take a look at 10 of the current scams to be aware of so you can avoid falling victim to them.

Person holding smartphone up1. Beware of the latest Whatapp scam

If you've got children and you receive a message telling you that your son or daughter has broken their phone and needs some money to be transferred to them, please be aware this might be a scam. If in doubt call your son or daughter and just check to make sure.

2. Failed payment scam

If you are told that a payment hasn't gone through and you are sent a link to rectify this issue, please don't click on the link. It is probably a scam. Read this message from the mobile phone provider EE warning people to be on their guard against these scams. 

3. TV Licensing Scams

Don't get scammed into paying more for your TV licence than you need to. Read this handy information about the precautions you can take so you don't fall victim. If you want to know more about the payment amounts you should be paying you can always sign into 'My Account'.

4. Holiday scams

Don't be conned into handing over your cash for holidays that are anything but relaxing. Check out this information on keeping your money safe when dealing with holiday companies. 

5. Airbnb and related scams

Websites like Airbnb have lots of legitimate accommodations online. However, sometimes things aren't all that they seem! Make sure the emails you receive from Airbnb are legitimate

6. Phishing

Criminals are always very keen on getting your private information. You can stop this from happening by following these simple instructions.  

7. Cryptocurrency scams

People are looking at trying to make money through these schemes. However, there are scammers around. Just be aware of how they work. Cryptocurrency is an investment, but sometimes it isn't regulated in the UK. Be aware of how you can get scammed. 

8. Facebook Marketplace Scams

According to a ThinkMoney report, one in six people surveyed has been scammed on Facebook Marketplace. You can often bag a bargain on Facebook Marketplace, but if you aren't careful, you could end up losing money - for example if you pay in advance for a service or item in advance that turns out not to exist. Here are some tips to keep you safe on Facebook Marketplace

9. Instagram scams

Instagram scams are still pretty widespread. If you get sent a private message asking you to do something, just bear in mind that it might be a scam.

10. Home fuel discounts

Lastly, we should all be getting a £400 discount on our home fuel bills. Don't be conned into signing up for this discount - you don't need to do so. Instead, the Government has been working with the power companies and the discount is automatically taken off your bill. If you'd like more information about the discount, have a look at this blog from the Energy Saving Trust. If you want to learn more about saving money our factsheet about useful digital resources for the cost of living crisis may help.

What do to if you are scammed? 

First of all, please don't be embarrassed!

These scammers are really devious and want to part with your money. Contact your bank or building society and let them know of the situation. Also, let the charity Action Fraud know.

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