Contact

News & Insights

TOP TIPS – How to Avoid Scams

Spotting and avoiding scams

The first and possibly best way to avoid scams and mis-selling is to know how to recognise them. However, with fraudsters becoming increasingly sophisticated, this is easier said than done, especially as online advertising often appears to be extremely plausible and professional.

How to spot a scam

From door knocks to cold calls and unsolicited emails, scammers are prepared to employ just about every method of communication. However, there are some simple rules you can follow to help you figure out how to spot a scam:

  • To avoid scams, always check email addresses to see if the sender is legitimate. You can expand the pane at the top of the email to check the sender’s address. Scammers’ details often have random numbers, misspellings or odd seeming anomalies in them.
  • Use the FCA’s ScamSmart website to check whether the sender is legitimate.
  • Beware of schemes promising high returns with no or only low risk – if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
  • Never trust anyone who seeks to rush you into a quick decision – this is a sure red flag.
  • If you have been cold called by someone purporting to be from your bank or other body, hang up and wait at least five minutes before calling them directly, otherwise your phoneline could be ‘hi-jacked’.
  • Check the FCA register of regulated companies – if the company is not on it, don’t do business.
  • Make sure the company’s web address starts with HTTPS, not just HTTP, which is not as secure. If using a hyperlink from an email, you can check the address by either hovering your cursor over the link or touching the link without clicking. In both cases, the web address (URL) will appear so that you can check out the details.
  • Spot and avoid scams by making sure that the company has a physical location in the real world and check its website for a phone number – ideally a landline – then call it to speak to a real person.

How to avoid getting scammed

Spotting irregularities is one thing, but avoiding scams before it’s too late is even more important. Avoid getting scammed by taking the following into account:

  • Never respond to unsolicited or unexpected contact. Since January 2019, the government and FCA have placed a ban on cold calling about pensions.
  • Never provide information such as PIN codes, passwords and account details to cold callers or email senders.
  • Use different passwords for all your accounts and make sure that each one is difficult to guess.
  • Do not use public WiFi for sensitive financial transactions or personal information. Only ever use a safe and secure network.

If you have any doubts about a company, a transaction or an online ad, the best advice we have is to STOP and CHECK. If the company or product is legitimate, it will still be available after you have taken the time to think.

Read our recent blog for more information on avoiding scams and Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud.

Blacktower: regulated financial advice to avoid getting scammed

Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd. is a fully qualified and regulated financial advice firm. We help our clients avoid scams so they can plan their pensions and investment portfolios and move with confidence towards a brighter financial and retirement future.

We have offices across Europe, including in France, Spain, Portugal and Germany and have built our reputation managing the wealth of clients for more than thirty years. Contact your local office today for independent expat financial advice, or further information on how to avoid scams.

* https://international-adviser.com/mis-selling-victims-turn-to-uk-government-for-action/?utm_term= Accessed 31-01-2020

Disclaimer: This communication is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice form a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.

Related News

Sweden Prepared to Manage Brexit in All Eventualities

Hand with Sweden flagIf you are an expat in Sweden, wealth management that takes account of your cross-border financial interests is a must.

However, with Brexit looming there is currently an added layer of concern, with the UK’s imminent separation from the EU undoubtedly relevant to certain components of any British expat’s wealth management strategy.

Fortunately, and despite a constant deluge of disturbing headlines that could easily have you believing otherwise, there is little chance that British citizens living in Sweden will need to make any fundamental changes to their outlook.

Read More

Defined benefit schemes – a ‘ticking time bomb’?

Following the news that no new buyer was interested in BHS and its £571 million pension deficit, a number of our clients with a working history in BHS got in touch with us to find out their position and options with regards to their future pensions. Unfortunately, it was too late as the window had closed. The BHS scheme got into the Pension Protection Fund, a statutory fund in the U.K., intended to protect pensioners if their pension fund becomes insolvent. What this means is that they are now locked in without any possibility of looking at alternatives and transferring out. For deferred members, this means a potential reduction in pension income as the PPF only compensates 90% of the income up to a certain cap.

Read More

Select your country

Please select your country of residence so we can provide you with the most relevant information:

You are currently viewing the Blacktower Financial Management EU website.

You may be looking for the Blacktower United States website.

Blacktower United States > X Stay on this site

Or choose your country.