We appreciate that for some, in these uncertain times, the opportunity to earn additional income is very tempting. Criminals are targeting people by offering them easy money by starting their own business or other working from home opportunities that aren’t what you think they are.
These job opportunities are usually presented as ads that are not written very well, with a mobile number often as the contact. The jobs are sold as flexible home working, so you can work it around your life. The work can be anything from filling envelopes, assembling things or selling goods or services.
These criminals ask you to pay an advance fee to join the scheme or get the equipment you need to work from home. But then you won’t get paid for any work you actually complete and you will be out of pocket.
They also sometimes ask you to recruit other people to the scheme, which means your friends and family could also get scammed.
The criminals may also sell or share your personal information with other criminals which means you could get repeatedly targeted.
READ MORE: Cost of living scams ran by ‘fraudsters’ – how to spot and stop scams
Scambusters Mail bag – answering your scam questions
I’ve been on the lookout for a second job, so I applied to an ad I saw posted on social media but I haven’t heard anything yet. What should I do?
If you believe you’ve responded to a scam, contact your bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one listed on your statement, their website or on the back of your credit or debit card.
Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000. Use Rightly to stop fraudsters sharing your data exposing you to scams.
Tip of the week
Block spam emails and numbers: you can block certain contacts that have been spamming you with messages. While most modern scammers use new emails and phone numbers to contact you each time, if you are receiving a bulk of unwanted messages from the same contact, blocking is the way to go. In many email apps you can set rules to automatically delete messages that meet criteria you set.
Remember: If you have received a text you think is a scam then you can forward to 7726 or take a screenshot and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are receiving lots of unwanted phone calls or text messages you can also consider removing your details from data brokers, ensuring that you use a right to object to processing of your data.
You can learn more about this on Rightly to stop the sharing of your data exposing you to scams. And you can take a free training course on how to fight against scams on www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk. The more we talk about scams the more we take away the shame.