Martin Lewis reveals the exact steps to take if you suspect you’re being phone scammed – from hanging up to ring your bank from a different number to calling a friend immediately after to check if the fraudster is still on the line
- Money saving expert appeared on ITV’s Lorraine today to share advice on scams
- Claimed ‘absolute epidemic of scams in the UK’ is a ‘major problem’ post-Covid
- Called for greater policing of fraud, which he cited as the biggest crime in the UK
- Laid out steps to take if suspect you’re being called by fraudster posing as bank
Martin Lewis has revealed the exact steps to take if you suspect you’re the victim of a phone scam.
The money-saving expert from Manchester appeared on Lorraine today and claimed the ‘absolute epidemic of scams in the UK’, particularly since the outbreak of the pandemic, is a ‘major problem’.
He warned that people with mental health problems are more than three times more likely to be victims of scams, but many who aren’t considered ‘vulnerable’ can easily fall for these ‘sophisticated’ cons.
Martin also called for greater policing of fraud, which he cited as the biggest crime in the UK.
Martin Lewis has revealed the exact steps to take if you suspect you’re the victim of a phone scam
‘It is about time that we took the epidemic of scams in this country that destroy people’s financial and mental health a bit more seriously,’ he told Lorraine.
The host revealed she recently received a text purportedly from Royal Mail saying she owed £2.99 postage for a letter – a common scam that has been doing the rounds across the country.
Martin warned these postal delivery scams are ‘very dangerous’ because we get so many deliveries during the pandemic.
‘Lots of people are falling for that; you’re busy, you’re stressed, they just put their details in and pay,’ he said.
Martin also called for greater policing of fraud, which he cited as the biggest crime in the UK while appearing on Lorraine today
Lorraine revealed she recently received a text purportedly from Royal Mail saying she owed £2.99 postage for a letter – a common postal scam that has been doing the rounds
‘The theft isn’t the money, there’s a little bit of money that you’re paying, but what you’re giving away is all your details when you do that, that’s the danger.
‘And if you fall for that, expect a call from someone from your “bank” telling you your account has been hacked and scammed and you need to transfer money across and don’t talk to the people at the bank because they’re in on it, and they do this whole scam that is trying to take a lot of money.’
Martin Lewis’ steps to take if you think you’re being phone scammed
- If you get called by your bank and they express urgency and ask for password details, hang up
- After hanging up, look up your bank’s number yourself and call them back on a different phone
- Call a friend to see if they are holding onto the line
- Wait for an hour before calling your bank back
- Contact Citizens Advice Scams action if you think you’re being scammed.
If you have been a victim of a scam, Martin claimed ‘very little’ will happen if you call Action Fraud, the police fraud helpline for scams, because the organisation is ‘monumentally underfunded’ and ‘does not deliver’.
‘We don’t police it well enough – we’ve got the Online Harms Bill going through Parliament, the Online Safety Bill, and the government for some reason has excluded scam adverts from it,’ he raged.
‘We do have an epidemic [of scams], you have to be absolutely watchful, you have to be wary, question everything unless it’s from an absolutely trusted source.’
Martin outlined ‘signals’ to look out for and steps to take if you believe you are being targetted by scammers to prevent being conned.
‘I wouldn’t trust any online ads, especially those on search engines and social media, especially with celebrity faces in them, definitely not with mine in because I don’t do any of them,’ he explained.
‘If your bank calls you up and tells you that there’s an urgency, just a few signals that you have to understand.
‘If they pressure you, if they say it’s urgent, if they say you can’t tell anyone else, those are massive signs that someone is trying to scam you.
‘If you see an investment ad that says put in £250 and they call you and say “It’s going well but you’re going to need to put more money in”, you’re being scammed on the back of that.
‘If you get called up by your bank and asked for your password details. If you’re not sure it’s your bank, or they call you up in urgency, you put the phone down, you go and find the number yourself, and this is important, call them back on a different phone, call them back on your mobile if they called your landline, call them back on your landline if they called your mobile.
‘Wait for an hour or two, call another friend first, because even if you put the phone down and dial a new number, they could be holding on that line for you to pick it up and fake a dial tone.
‘If you then call your best friend and say “Just want to check” and they say, “Hello, Barclay’s bank”, well you know that you’re being scammed. Have your wits about you. Citizens Advice Scams action is there for you if you think you’re being scammed.’
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