Advisers have to stay alert of scammers | #datingscams | #lovescams

Financial advisers have to be particularly vigilant that their clients are not the targets of scammers as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

The call comes from consumer data action service Rightly chief executive officer James Walker.

He said: “I would hope that financial advisers as professionals will be very good at identifying those issues, but maybe their clients are not.

“It is really key that they are aware of what’s going on and look for tell-tale signs.

“It’s important to be able to look out for consumers that are not acting normally when it comes to their financial behaviours.”

An example is when scammers threaten their victims to take their money away if they report the incidents.

“Scammers can be quite threatening once they’ve got their hooks into someone,” Walker said.

He added that scammers have been particularly active in recent times, taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis. They have been using energy bills as a subterfuge to trick potential victims.

Scammers approach their victims by all means necessary, such as text messages, WhatsApp or phone calls.

Yet, Walker warned that a new trend is for scammers to go door-to-door.

He said: “They are going around and saying that they are from Ofgem, the energy regulator.

“They would then request sensitive details such copy of bank receipts to allegedly recover money.

“What they are after is harvesting information and getting the consumer to hand over sensitive data that they can use against them.”

Walker explained that another trend at the moment revolves around discounts at supermarkets or claims about winning a competition. Such scams will involve the victim handing out sensitive data.

He said: “Scammers will typically find a topic that is relevant. Once they’ve got the topic, they will create the urgency and the immediacy to do something.

“The immediacy is if you don’t do something now, you may lose out on a great deal.

The Financial Conduct Authority recently warned savers to beware of scammers as thousands withdraw pension savings to cover the rising cost of living.

The regulator urged consumers to check information on the Scamsmart website including the Warning List before making any decision about their pension.

In addition, the FCA has called the government to introduce tougher legislation and increase resources to fight fraud.

Recent research from Canada found that 51% of UK adults have or know someone who has received a suspicious communication in the last 12 months. This equates to 27m people across the country.

Most of these cases can be described phishing scams. This is when a fraudster attempts to imitate a legitimate company or person to secure important information from the victim.

Crypto scams are also becoming common, with 1 in five reporting they or someone they know has received one in the last 12 months.

Pension transfer scam communications account for 8% of contacts, while romance scams or dating scams are similar at 11%.

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