Tips to beat the scammers
March 2, 2015
Scammers are always on the lookout for new ways to scam you. You can be scammed over the phone, on a website, by email, text or letter, at your front door or on the street. Being aware of the different types of scams is the best way to spot new ones as many scams are normally a variation of an existing scam. To protect yourself:
- Be on your guard: Never give your personal, bank or credit card details to someone you don’t know. Remember your bank, credit card or utility provider already have your personal details– they would not ask you to confirm them again.
- Know what scams are out there: Scams can take many forms – fake lotteries, pyramid schemes, rental accommodation scam and other “get rich quick” deals, as well as phishing.
- Keep up-to-date on current scams: One current scam relates to buying a car from a website in the UK. It works by a scammer placing an advertisement for a car on a website. The consumer then pays a deposit by money transfer for the car, without having an opportunity to inspect it, but the car is never delivered to the consumer. With this scam, the consumer has little or no chance of getting any money back as once the money is transferred, it cannot be traced. Don’t transfer money to someone you don’t know without seeing the car first even if the seller says it is the deal of a lifetime.
- Be careful of any random emails: If you receive an email from a friend or that you would not expect, avoid clicking on the links within the email. Also, be very careful about clicking on links in emails that come from an address that you do not recognise.
- Check your bank and credit card account regularly: Check your statements to ensure you recognise all the transactions. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions contact your bank so they can tell you what action the bank need to take if your card has been used fraudulently. This might include putting a stop to your account, cancelling your credit or debit card or stopping a transaction from going through your account.
- Protect yourself when buying online: If you spot something you would like to buy online but are unsure of the site, do some research- look for positive/negative reviews of the site from friends, family or on online forums. Try to buy from trusted and well-known websites.
Have you been scammed?
You should contact the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations on (01) 6663777 or contact your local Garda station immediately. If you were scammed somewhere else in Europe, tell the European Consumer Centre Ireland. And finally, you should let your friends and family know so they won’t get caught out.