You will find that a lot of people think that they will be able to spot a fraud and that they wouldn’t become the victim of fraud. Sadly though, it is often a lot more difficult than many people suggest and this is why it can be helpful to learn about some of the common features or aspects of fraud.  If you are keen to protect yourself and your loved ones, you’ll find that improving your awareness of fraudulent and fraudulent activity will go a long way to helping you stay safe.

Has the contact come out of the blue?

One of the most common traits associated with frauds and scams is the initial contact coming out of the blue. This may be from a company that you have had no dealings with or a company that you have knowledge or awareness of. It should be said that sometimes companies will contact people with no previous relationship.

Cold calling is a component of some businesses so just because a business that you have no knowl3edge of contacts you, don’t automatically assume that it is fraudulent.

However, you should be cautious. You should look to ask questions of the caller and find out more about the company. If the caller is genuine, they will accept that cold calling can catch people on the hop and they should be more than happy to provide information and guidance to the caller. They may even encourage the person receiving the call to undertake some research of their own.

Then again, if the person on the other end of the line is a fraudster, they don’t want the person undertaking research or looking for any information about them. If you are not satisfied with the response or reaction of the caller, hang up. You can carry out research of your own and if you believe the offer is genuine, you can call them from a different phone line and ask to speak about the initial offer. If you think that the call was fraudulent, do not contact the firm.

Some people will decide to let the matter end at this point but it may be better for you to get in touch with the police or local authorities with respect to fraud. If a fraudster is contacting you, they may well be contacting other people as well, so your intervention may play some part in preventing other people from becoming the victim of fraud.

It may be that other people are not as switched on the threat of fraud as you are, so you should do what you can to spread the word and make sure that other people are aware of fraudulent activity.

Does the deal sound too good to be true?

One of the most common features of investment scams and many frauds is the “sure-fire” nature of the deal or offer. If you are being told that this is a guaranteed way to bring in money and make a great return on your investment, you should be concerned. Sadly, too many people get caught up in the excitement and before the fraudster is even halfway through their spiel, the victim is already counting and spending the money they intend to make from the deal.

No guarantee is a certain deal and there is no way that a reliable and reputable stockbroker would talk in such a manner. This means you should be naturally cautious if someone promises you a lot of money in an investment deal.

Are you being asked to provide your personal details?

The bottom line is that unless someone can provide verification and prove to you they are who they say they are, and that they have a very strong reason for requesting this information from you, you should never offer your personal details.

One good tip for life is to ensure that you never provide your details to someone who initiates the call. If you initiate the call to the police or a bank you can be slightly more confidence in who you are dealing with but even then you shouldn’t be providing personal details unless you are 100% sure that this is necessary and required.

Staying safe from fraud can be a challenge but it is far from an impossible and following these tips will go a long way to keeping you safe.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.