Scam calls do not hibernate during the winter. The top scam calls in winter are listed below, so stay on the lookout and secure.
Like you, scammers monitor the weather reports and prepare for storms, and they intend to surprise you. Unlicensed contractors and con artists may call and offer to check your furnace, fix your leaky roof, or clean your heating ducts as you prepare for winter.
Once winter arrives, they'll add snow and ice removal to their list. But on occasion, they don't live up to your expectations and might take your money and run, leaving some or all of the work unfinished. Here are some of the top scam calls in UK that you should look out for.
1. Top Scam Calls in Winter: Utility Scam Calls
Since scammers are aware that severe weather may have cut off your electricity, heat, and water, they might pose as your utility company. They might call you to apologize for your blackout and offer you a reimbursement, but they need to know your bank account information first.
They might call you to tell you there's a glitch in their system and that you need to give them personal information before they can restart your gas. They might even threaten to turn off your utilities if you don't send them money right away. They are all lies, though.
2. Charity Scam Calls
Calls from charities typically have a positive effect. You can give money to a good cause, and many charitable organizations use your donations to make a difference in the world.
However, there are disadvantages to giving to charities over the phone. Charity callers are aware of the increased susceptibility to emotional manipulation that comes with the Christmas season.
3. Fake Gift Card Offers
The possibility of getting something for nothing appeals to many, as scammers are well aware. As a result, they hide their true identities behind reputable companies (like Amazon) and present themselves as offering you a gift card.
Always purchase gift cards from reputable merchants. Better yet, buy them straight from the store and ask them to scan the card to ensure the balance is correct.
4. Energy Price Cap Scam Calls
Thieves are preying on households affected by the most recent increase in the energy price cap by disguising themselves as energy companies. The claim states that additional grants—including ones worth more than the £400 the government is willing to offer—and refunds are available.
Once they have your information, fraudsters might be able to access online accounts, use the victim's identity to commit fraud against them, or engage in other types of fraud once they have it. Energy suppliers can detect instances where they haven't been paid fairly for the energy used and will bill the offender for it, forcing victims to pay more for their power.
5. Pension Scam Calls
Con artists pose as legitimate investment firms to steal people's money. Pension fraud has significantly increased since the implementation of pension freedoms in 2015, which gave anyone over 55 access to their retirement funds.
6. Boiler Room Phone Scams
These phone scams promise investors a significant return, causing them to lose a lot of money. You get an unexpected call from someone offering you the chance to make a lot of money investing. They'll probably tell you that you must act quickly and send the funds immediately.
Many times, victims forfeit tens of thousands of pounds. If you give your money to a boiler room because they are not licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it might be lost forever.
7. Lottery Scams
Don't believe it if you get a call saying they chose you at random to win a foreign lottery. Because they typically assert that you must pay taxes or other fees to the government to receive your winnings, you can tell that these calls are fake by their typical assertion.
8. Bank Scam Calls
Sometimes criminals take on a good persona. Customers may receive telephone warnings about potential bank account fraud. They start asking for personal information like passwords and bank account numbers as the conversation continues. Don't divulge this information to anyone who calls you. Instead, disconnect.
After that, get in touch with your institution to confirm the call's legitimacy. Never use a phone number given to you by an unknown caller or voicemail. Call the number for the branch in your area.
9. Insurance, Health Care & Debt Scam Calls
In several related phone scams, con artists pretend to sell vehicle warranties, offer loans for debt consolidation, or verify health insurance information. It is advised to avoid making phone-based purchases unless you are the one making the call.
Watch out for individuals who offer debt consolidation services while posing as health insurance agents to collect information for identity theft. Similar to the IRS, Medicare won't contact you. It is best to hang up and call the number on your insurance card if someone calls and claims to be from your health insurance provider.
10. Technical Support Scam Calls
In this scam, the caller typically claims to be from a reputable organization, such as Microsoft or Apple, and that they have discovered a mistake on the victim's computer. After that, they will guide the victim through a series of actions to "correct" the situation.
The user unknowingly installs software that permits remote device access or allows system takeover. Scammers use it to download ransomware, encrypt files and request payment to decrypt them.
The elderly are less tech-savvy than younger people, making the environment perfect for elder abuse. Microsoft's phone calls might be suspicious to younger people, but older people might be more understanding. As was the case with the IRS, these calls are always fraudulent. Microsoft and other tech firms don't
All of us are considering how much more it will cost to stay warm this winter due to inflation and rising energy costs. It can feel like you have won the savings lottery when you receive a call with a suggestion to lower your utility bill.
Before you say "yes," be aware that some offers might be frauds who will abandon you outside in the cold because they want your cash and personal information.
A call blocker device is strongly recommended to block phone scams. Our call blockers are meant to keep you and your family safe from unwanted phone calls and give you peace of mind at home. Browse our products, or get in touch with us so we can help you