Martin Lewis issues urgent warning on ‘nonsense’ scam linked to him

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Martin Lewis was forced recently to address a new scam which names him as an originator. Yesterday, the Money Saving Expert was asked to confirm if a viral story attributed to him has any legitimacy.

Twitter user “@retweetedart” asked Martin if a story “passed round the internet” is real.

Retweetedart then shared the following post on social media which is being attributed to Martin: “Straight from the City of London Police fraud team – Extremely sophisticated scam going about this week, involving all banks.

“You get a message saying a payment hasn’t been taken e.g O2, Vodafone, 3, Giff Gaff or EE to click here.

“As soon as you touch it your money is gone.

“They already have all your details and it’s the most advance scam the bank has ever seen.

“Pass this on to everyone please. This is straight from work this morning – the banks are vying inundated with calls – thousands flying out of peoples accounts!

“Spread the word to your family and friends! Be vigilant!!!! As confirmed by Martin Lewis this morning!”

Martin was asked on that final line and his response could not have been clearer: “WARNING: This viral scam alert’s nowt to do with me.

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 [WARNING]

“I’ve NOT talked about it. Always be scam aware, but this sounds nonsense.

“If you do get scam text/emails it describes, its likely phishing for data, so delete.

“Yet the scam alert’s no better and ain’t from City of London Police as far as I know.”

Scams can be very difficult to recognise but there are certain things people can look out for to better help them identify fraudulent activity.

According to Citizens Advice, it may be possible to identify a scam if:

  • it seems too good to be true
  • someone the person doesn’t know contacts them unexpectedly
  • a person suspects they’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address
  • they’ve been asked to transfer money quickly
  • they’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union
  • they’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs
  • they haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed

Unfortunately, Action Fraud have warned of a rise in investment fraud reports just as England enters a second lockdown.

Between, September 2019 and September 2020, Action Fraud received just over 17,000 reports of investment fraud, amounting to £657.4million in reported losses, a general increase of 28 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, reports of these kinds spiked in the months following the introduction of the initial lockdown, which doesn’t bode well for the coming months.

Pauline Smith, the Head of Action Fraud, commented on these worrying trends: “The coronavirus outbreak sadly led to many people losing their job or having to manage with a lower income than they were used to. It has also caused a shake up in the economy in general, with interest rates falling, in a similar way to the financial crisis of 2008. All of these factors provide criminals with the opportunity to attract more people with their fraudulent investment schemes.

“Preying on people when they are at their most vulnerable really shows how low these criminals will stoop to make a profit for themselves. That is why we are working hard with our law enforcement colleagues, and partners in the finance industry, to tackle investment fraud and empower the public to spot a scam.”

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