AGE UK OXFORDSHIRE’S TOPS TIPS FOR AVOIDING SCAMS
- Don’t rush into anything
If you think you’ve been offered a great deal, don’t agree to it immediately. A genuine offer is unlikely to require an instant decision. Ask your family and friends what they think or call an advice agency such as Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. For suspected pension scams call The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047.
- Make sure the company is reputable
Before you commit to buying, check the seller. Does the company have a contact number that works and a postal address, and is it a member of a trade association? Financial companies must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – you can check at www.fca.org.uk/register or call 0800 111 6768.
- Know who’s on your doorstep
If you answer the door to someone you don’t know, ask for an identity card and check it. You could phone the company they represent to check who they are. Think about putting up a notice saying you don’t buy on the doorstep. If you’re suspicious or the caller won’t leave, call 999 and ask for the police. See our free guide Staying safe, which can be downloaded from www.ageuk.org.uk or ordered from the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65.
- Be wise to cold call scams
Ignore unsolicited invitations such as letters, emails or phone calls offering a brilliant investment or saying you’ve won a lottery. Never reply to these- it shows your details are active which will encourage scammers to contact you again. Contact the Mailing Preference Service on 0845 703 4599 to have your name taken off UK direct mailing lists. Check your email account is set up to filter spam.
- Be aware of new pension scams
New rules allowing people to access their pension pots from age 55 have brought with them new scams. Be cautious of anyone that claims to know about loopholes, talks about overseas investments or says you can get your money before age 55. The FCA lists current scams at www.fca.gov.uk/scamsmart. Visit the Government’s Pension Wise website for free and impartial guidance on your pension options.
- Report it
Anyone can be taken in by a scam, so don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if it happens to you. If you think you’ve been scammed, or you’ve spotted a scam report the scam to the police and contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report it and get help. See our free guide Avoiding scams or visit our scams page at www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/consumer-advice/scams-advice/