Based on my past cases, here is my Consumer Champion’s checklist for keeping your money safer in 2022.
1) Be ‘scamdemic’ prepared
My mailbag was bursting with letters from victims who lost life-changing sums to scammers. Criminals took cynical advantage of our isolation during the pandemic, as many of us worked from home or were cut off from families and friends.
One of the most common ruses that tripped up readers was crooks masquerading as police or bank fraud departments to gain their trust. They tricked them by claiming a rogue employee at their bank or fraudulent activity on their accounts meant it was imperative they should move their money elsewhere to protect it. Sadly, the money simply vanished into the scammers’ coffers instead.
I intervened in numerous cases, persuading banks to reopen closed cases and often changing their minds about reimbursing victims. A recent win involved an elderly couple who lost £36,500 to imposter police who coaxed them to buy gold for safety – and then took it from them. On my intervention, Barclays returned every penny of their losses. This style of scam is certain to continue in 2022.
Action: if someone phones, texts or knocks on the door out of the blue and tries to persuade you to part with personal details or cash, do not give them the time of day.
2) Too good to be true? It is
Many readers fell for attractive deals that turned out to be fraudulent. In one case, an elderly man who searched online for a better return on…