Stay Safe Online – Bogus Facebook Adverts, Scam Text Messages and Investment Scams
If your computer is going slow, bring it in for a health check, we’ll do overnight scans, remove any viruses and unnecessary programs that are slowing it down – this is usually more cost effective (and definitely more environmentally friendly) than buying a new computer – but if it isn’t – we’ll tell you. We can also install ESET anti-virus software recommended by Which?
Bogus Facebook Adverts
Which? Reports on phoney Facebook adverts like ‘Clarks shoes for £29’ where payment is taken in USD, tracking documents appear from China and eventually
a pair of sunglasses (not shoes!) arrive. If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
- Do some background checks – search for names and phrases on the internet – often scams will be highlighted on Google.
- Always use a credit card – and PayPal if possible, and never pay in crypto-currency like Bitcoin as it offers no protection at all.
- If you do fall victim to a scam – report it as soon as possible and get the payment frozen on your credit card.
Sign up here for Which? Scam alerts direct to your inbox:
Watch out for these text messages – I don’t have an HSBC account so knew this was a scam. Don’t ever reply to messages – ring your bank direct. The real Natwest text message says “A new payee, Joe Bloggs, has been set up on 07/04/21. If you didn’t create this payee, please contact us urgently.” There is NO link.
Investment Scams are increasing
A Which? survey of investment scam victims found that while many were targeted by phone, there were many other online methods including email, adverts on Facebook, and search engine results.
Legitimate investment comparison sites do exist – and may advertise on search engines – but Which? found many investment comparison sites advertising on Google or Bing that were already on the FCA warning list. You can check here:
Personally, I feel it is much safer to use a local financial adviser that you have known for a long time and has been recommended by someone who already has investments with them. The return may not be quite as good, there may be a higher fee, but your money is a lot safer than investing with someone you don’t know.