Scams you might not know about but should

by Leeds Building Society

There are lots of scams happening every single day and the biggest give away is this - if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

Often fraudsters will use phone, post, email or text to try and entice you to give up your personal details or ‘invest’ money.

Here are a handful of scams you need to be aware of…

You’re our ‘lucky’ winner!

Have you heard about advanced fee fraud or lottery scams? The scammer will contact the unsuspecting victim and offer a large sum of money, which they claim to be lottery winnings or inheritance.

They might be told that to claim the winnings, they will need to send a payment first; these payments are claimed to be for tax or legal fees.  Once the payment has been sent they sadly won’t receive anything.

Money mules (not designer shoes)

This is when fraudsters use people to launder fraudulent monies through their accounts.  Individuals may be approached, by criminals to transfer illegally obtained funds into their account and then withdraw it in cash or transfer it to another account.

Often this is done by legitimate looking job adverts offering a chance to earn easy money for a few hours work per week. Even if the victim is unaware that the funds in their account were illegally obtained, they have played an important role in money laundering, and can be prosecuted.

What’s mine is yours…?

As online dating continues to grow in popularity, so does dating and romance scams. An individual believes they’ve met a partner online but in fact they're a fraudster trying to obtain money or personal details from them.

Once the fraudster has developed trust with their victim, they might tell them that they’re experiencing a problem and will ask them to send money to help.

Once the money has been sent they will generally ask for more, giving new reasons as to why they need it.

Dip into your pension pot

This one’s known as a pension scam. Individuals will contact the victim to offer pension investment opportunities to help them release cash from their pension early by investing in unregulated or bogus schemes.

Sell, sell, sell

This one’s often referred to as share fraud or a boiler room scam. A fraudster will ask the victim to invest in shares, using high pressure sales techniques.  The shares are either worthless or of very little value.

Some scam advice. Be aware if...

1. Any offerings sound too good to be true

2. You are contacted unexpectedly and asked for personal details,  payments or are offered financial advice

3. Those same callers try to get through to you again and again

4. There's pressure to act promptly. You may be told that it’s for a ‘limited time only’ and to 'buy now!'

5. You're told that an offer is exclusive to you only and should not be discussed with anyone

6. You're online dating and you're asked to send money to someone you have never met

Action to take

If you think you have been the victim of fraud you should report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit the ActionFraud website.

If you suspect fraudulent activity on your account with us please report it to us immediately on 0113 225 7777.

Take Five

There's also lots of advice on the Take Five website. Take Five is a national campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK which offers straight-forward and impartial advice on financial fraud prevention.

Do you think you're too smart to be scammed? Take this test to find out.

This information does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek independent  advice if you have any questions or queries.