Watch out for legal and financial scams, warns Citizens Advice

People need to be on their guard against financial and legal scams following a rise in cases reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service.

A total of 1200 financial and legal scams were reported to the consumer service in the year ending April 2018.

A range of investments scams were reported to the consumer service:

Cryptocurrency – Fake websites offering cryptocurrency investments, like Bitcoin.

Binary options – Scammers pose as stockbrokers and get you to place bets on whether phoney shares will rise or fall within a certain date.

Holiday timeshares – Scammers promise to buy your membership off you for an advanced fee.

Bogus solicitors – Scammers will intercept emails from a legitimate solicitor and pose as them, particularly when a property is being exchanged and get the funds diverted to their bank account.

To stop scams Citizens Advice  is sharing tips on how to spot them:

  • Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise
  • Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away
  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
  • Never send money to someone you have never met
  • Never give out bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
  • Suspect a scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call.
  • Persuasive sales patter? Say: “No Thank You”
  • Speak out about scams
  • Alternatively contact your local Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444, find drop in details of opening times on our website