We have all faced new problems over the past year, and we’ve been forced to come up with imaginative solutions. That’s as true for scammers as it is for everyone else, and many of the people trying to part us from our money have shown imagination and ingenuity. This means we all have to be extra cautious.
The main areas where people need to be vigilant are banking, investments and pensions. Successful con artists can get away with large sums of money by offering plausible, carefully thought through plans. A recent BBC article suggested that victims of financial fraud lose an average of more than £45,000.
Banks will never contact their customers and ask for PIN numbers or request them to transfer money. Yet, many people are frequently caught out by believable stories. Investments are another area where any unsolicited contact from a stranger should set alarm bells ringing. The rule of thumb for investing in any scheme is that it if it looks too good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided. The easy way to avoid being taken in by offers of pension transfers to better performing schemes or methods of releasing money from frozen funds is to ignore them.
The safest option is to seek advice from a registered firm that has details on the website of the industry regulator, Financial Conduct Authority, which can be checked to ensure it is genuine. If you’re in Chester and needing independent financial advice, give us at Hartey Wealth Management a call.