With millions of people falling victim to fraud each year, you may be wondering how you can avoid being another one of them. The high number of people falling victim to such scams gives the impression that there is nothing that can be done to avoid them. However, detecting fraud need not be so hard and there are simple things that you can look out for that will prove vital in detecting a scam. Knowledge is power and the one top thing that will stop you falling victim is being aware of upfront fees.
Always be suspicious of administration fees. If you have received a letter telling you that you have won a prize, it can be tempting to pay the small administration or postage fee in order to receive the prize. After all if the prize is worth £100 and the postage fee is only £10 how can you refuse? Unfortunately this is one type of fraud that many people fall for. The money is sent off and either the prize never arrives or it is nothing like it was described. In fact, the postage is more valuable than the prize that you do receive and you realise too late that you have been conned.
Fees are always a sign of a scam. It is the one thing that is consistent within any scam. The fraudster will always want money from you and understandable looking fees are the way in which they will get it.
It is so much easier to spot a scam which asks for hundreds of pounds. Similarly if a letter arrives telling you that you have won thousands of pounds then that too can seem very unlikely. These are the easiest types of scams to detect. The ones that are more difficult are the ones that seem more realistic. A small £5 fee for example is highly unlikely to cause suspicion. Similarly, £10 can seem a small price to pay.
The best thing to do when you receive a letter telling you that you have won a prize is to shred it. If you really have won a prize, most companies will use the telephone to contact you.