Thursday, 22 December 2016

Scams - Part 1: What to look out for

I hate to say it but in this day and age we are surrounded by lies and deceit. You only have to watch a few minutes of adverts on the television and you will see the subtle way in which you are influenced. Listen carefully and you will spot that the phrases used are often meaningless, the car that will ‘transform your life’, alongside pictures of beautiful companions apparently now in your life. Money lenders that will give you ‘a Pay day loan’. While you see pictures of that huge new television that you want, nearly obscuring the writing showing that your repayments will be at 1000% or more. In the 60’s we called them loan sharks and they were arrested, but now it’s all legal. How did we get here? Well, I think you will find that the Tories and Labour both had spells in charge between then and now; so much for looking after the people.

Scams don’t affect me, I’ve still got all my marbles, I’m okay. Really?… have you watched the series of Derren Brown  recently? His victims cover all ages, and he successfully shows how anyone can be manipulated into situations where almost anything is possible. I must instantly point out that Derren Brown is highly respectable and has nothing to do with scamming people, but his shows and programs are a good example of how you could be tricked.

There are so many different scams that it would be impossible to list them all, but they all have some things in common:

a) At some stage Money is requested from the victim.
b) An offer will be made that seems a bargain, a bonus, generously kind
c) The scammer often pretends to represent a company or organisation that you would normally trust.
d) Once a scam has been successful the victim will be on a scammers list and will be constantly pestered.

Okay, let’s take a break, let’s go shopping. Look at all those bargains 20% off, 40% off, 50% off. “Off what” you should be saying. Well if it’s against a product, say a camera, then that camera must have been on sale for the 100% price within the previous 6 months, but those signs in the window just saying 50% off without any product reference, they mean absolutely nothing. They are just bright, large, and in your face, simply to make you think you might get a bargain inside the shop.

Let’s go home again, right loads of post, lots of leaflets, that’ll be a load of rubbish, straight in the bin ….. oops hang on to the vote Ukip one, maybe stick it in the window to keep canvassers away. Oh, oh, Phone’s ringing …. Another cold caller, wonder who it is Microsoft again or a government survey. You will all have experienced these scenarios above. We put up with these situations every day and we become used to them. So used to them that we don’t see them as ways to trick us out of our money. This article can only serve as a reminder to be wary.

Do not agree to any work at the doorstep or with people that you do not know.

Do not hand over any money for work that is not complete to your satisfaction.
If in any doubt, please ask family or friends before agreeing to expensive work.
Please keep an eye out for elderly friends or family, tell them to be wary.
Your local UKIP councillors are only too happy to call round if you have any doubts.

Dave Bell

UKIP Councillor West Heath Ward

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