Martin Lewis shares tips for checking scams
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Scams have become more common than ever during the pandemic as scammers and victims alike have had more time on their hands. Martin Lewis has been working hard to help Britons to avoid and deal with these scams.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine Kelly show this morning, Martin shared tips with viewers on what to do if they think they have been scammed.
Martin said that he is getting “to the end of my tether” with the number of scams circulating in the country.
As well as calling Action Fraud, there are other actions victims of scams can take.
Martin explained that if you receive a call from someone saying it’s your bank and “they call you up in urgency”, the best thing to do is “to put the phone down”.
The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com continued: “You put the phone down, you go find the number yourself, and this is the important bit – you call them back on a different phone.
“Call them back on your mobile if they called your landline, and your landline if they called your mobile.”
Martin advised waiting for an hour or two and calling another friend first.
“Because even if you put the phone down and dial the new number, they could be holding on that line for you to pick it up and fake a dial tone,” he explained.
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“So, if you then call your best friend just to check and then they say, ‘Hello, Barclay’s Bank’, well you then know that you’re being scammed on the back of that.”
Martin recommended “having your wits about you” and calling a helpline if needed.
He said: “Citizens Advice Scam Action is there to help people who think they might be being scammed.”
Victims of scams can visit the Citizens Advice website and report a scam online or contact them directly via email or phone.
“But we have a real problem,” Martin added.
The Money Saving Expert highlighted the detrimental effects scams have on people’s mental health, as well as on their finances.
Martin explained that he is a chair of a mental health charity.
He said: “We know that people with mental health problems are over three times more likely to be victims of scams than everybody else.”
Martin looked exasperated as he spoke to Lorraine.
“There’s only so much saying this again and again and again on the television can do,” he said.
“It is about time that we took the epidemic of scams in our country that destroy people’s financial and mental health a bit more seriously.”
In other scam news, Royal Mail texts and emails are currently circulating in the UK, telling Britons that they have a parcel waiting for delivery and that it must be paid for.
Martin warned citizens to be “watchful and wary” of these types of scams.
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