REVEALED: Most common financial scams to avoid

The findings were released at an event in Westminster to raise awareness and minimise fraud.

This was done in a bid to support an initiative from National Trading Standard called Friends Against scams.

One of the best ways customers can help themselves is to learn the common tricks used by fraudsters and what to look out for. 

According to NatWest records, Nearly 7,000 customers have fallen victim to various scams since the start of 2017.

The most common scam to look out for was “goods not received”. This involves someone paying for items or services that never turn up.

This scam accounted for 2,073 of cases seen by NatWest, or around three in 10 scams.

NatWest warns that these scams usually happen on online auctions and marketplaces.

In order for customers to protect themselves, they should check the item description carefully and read the website’s dispute resolution policy before buying. 

Recognised, official paying services should be used, and customers are advised not to pay via direct bank transfer off-site. 

Business customers should also be aware that they can fall victim to scams. 

Particularly, “invoice fraud” can cause substantially big losses.

“Invoice fraud” occurs when a business receives a fake invoice that appears to be from a trusted trading partner.

In the invoice, it could say that payment arrangements have changed and that the customer should pay the outstanding balance into a new account. 

Businesses who fall victim to these types of scams lose, on average, £30,000 to this type of fraud.

NatWest chief executive of personal and business banking, Les Matheson, said: “We know scammers can be convincing and they work round the clock to persuade their victims to part with money.

“We have hundreds of people working 24/7 to detect and stop fraud, but it’s very important that, as individuals and businesses, we know how to protect ourselves.”

Here are the top five scams affecting NatWest customers:

1. Goods not received – Paying for services or goods that never turn up

2. Advance fee fraud – Fraudsters asking for advanced or up-front payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise

3. Spoof payment requests – The customer receives a fraudulent request, claiming to be from senior personnel or clients, for payment or draw down of funds

4. Invoice fraud – Being tricked to believe a fake invoice is from a trusted trading partner

5. Holiday scam – You book a holiday, usually online, to find out later the holiday was not real

Daily Express :: Personal Finance Feed

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