It is a sad fact of life that there are people who are prepared to trick and deceive in order to take advantage of the unwary. Scams target people of all backgrounds and income levels. Such ‘con artists’, ‘fraudsters’ or ‘scammers’ are constantly thinking of new and ingenious ways to catch out the unwary and relieve us of our hard-earned money or property.
With modern technology your personal information is a valuable commodity. Identity theft is when a trickster gets hold of your personal information and uses it to get at your cash. Electronic banking, mobile phones and home computing all use passwords and access codes to identify who you are. We each need to be careful that this information does not fall into the wrong hands. What simple steps can you take to avoid these tricksters?
Here are seven simple things which will help you from getting tricked:
• Cold Calling Spring Park is designated as a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ and it is unlikely that a reputable company or charity will call unexpectedly at your door. If you are alone or vulnerable, do not let strangers into your house. Ask for ID and then get the caller to make an appointment and return when you have someone you trust with you. Don’t get tricked!
• Unsolicited phone calls These are unexpected phone calls from people you don’t know. Often the caller just wants to sell you something, offer a service or tell you that you have won a prize in a competition. Never give out your bank details or offer a card payment to such people.
We all get nuisance calls from time to time but registering with the Telephone Preference Service and going ex-directory will help reduce the numbers of such unwanted calls.
• Never give money to a stranger on the doorstep If a stranger says he/she is collecting for a charity, ask them for details of where to post a donation or how to make a payment online.
If an uninvited stranger calls offering goods or services, do not let them into the house. Ask them to write to you explaining what they are offering.If you are still interested in what they offer then make an appointment for them to call back.
No reputable company will call unannounced and ask for a deposit or advance payment.
• Never invite a stranger into your home If someone calls unexpectedly, particularly at an unusual hour, ask them to make an appointment. If necessary have a friend or carer present when they come back.