Protect Yourself from Con Artists

 

To protect yourself from being taken for a ride by con artists, remember a simple rule: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some common swindles:

  • Lucky winner: a telephone caller informs you that you've won an expensive prize, but he needs your credit card number to 'verify' your identity. On your next bill you discover that you've been charged several hundred pounds for the 'free' prize.
  • Not-so-free holiday: a letter offers you a free trip, but when you call for reservations, you learn that all the 'free' days are booked. For a small fee, however, your trip can still be arranged. By the time the charges have added up, you've taken an expensive holiday.
  • Make a million: a 'financial adviser' touts a surefire investment. But once you put up your money, the cash vanishes, along with the broker.
  • Something for nothing: but you have to visit a new holiday resort to pick up your prize. When you arrive, you get a high-pressure sales pitch to buy a holiday home.

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