Martin Lewis has urged Britons to be extra careful about fraud as the UK faces an “epidemic of scams.” On the last episode of The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV this evening, the MoneySavingExpert shared his advice. He warned that everyone is at risk from fraud.
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“Today’s scammers are sophisticated, vicious and dangerous,” he explained.
“It’s not about stupid people doing stupid things, we’re all potential victims.
“We’re exposed to devious scammers across the globe.”
Scams are a topic important to Martin as certain scammers have begun exploiting his famous name in a bid to fleece people of money.
A Bitcoin advert using Martin’s face has been doing the rounds recently – but it is a scam.
Martin is not the only celebrity scammers have turned to. Richard Branson, Eammon Holmes and Piers Morgan have also had their faces splashed across fake adverts.
In just one month, £1.4million was scammed due to adverts featuring Martin and a Dragon from Dragon’s Den
“If you see an advert online with a well-known face you need to question if that advert is legitimate,” cautioned Martin.
It’s important to remember – Martin Lewis never does adverts, nor will he ever contact you personally.
So what are the warning signs for a scam?
You should be beware of people pretending to an authority. Remember – HMRC will never email about a tax rebate.
“Scammers can pretend to be a bank or even the police – be wary,” warned Martin.
It’s also worth scrolling past the Google searches with ‘Ad’ next to them as these are paid for. It’s key to look for quality.
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How do you know if something is genuine or not?
Scammers will often try to persuade you that you need to act urgently and secretively.
For instance, one “classic example” is that scammers might say that you need to get money out of the bank – but if someone tries to stop you don’t tell them what it’s for – this is a big danger sign.
An inner klaxon should also sound if ‘banks’ want you to move money for security, call you and ask for a PIN or full passwords, or if they say they’ll send a courier for a ‘fraudulent card’ – real banks would always tell you to cut up your card. “Don’t trust them,” said Martin.
You should also be alert if:
– Your mobile sim stops working
– Your password is changed
– Expected post doesn’t arrive (e.g. PIN letter)
– There are unknown products on your credit file
– If Amazon, Uber or other accounts have addresses you haven’t entered
– You’re contacted about benefits you’re not getting
– Your wheelie bin goes missing
– Communication features poor spelling and grammar
“If any of these ring a bell, please check,” urged Martin.
How can you protect yourself?
Martin encouraged viewers to make payments of any substantial amount with a debit or credit card – not bank transfers.
If you do think you’ve been scammed, report it to the Trading Standards, the FCA if it’s financial and the police as well as your bank.
“We have a big problem with fraud in this country,” said Martin. “It needs political action or it will get worse.”
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