Scam warning: Recessions are ‘honeypots’ for fraudsters – what to look out for

Biden adviser grilled by host on fears of 'recession'

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In light of this, households are being told what to look out in case they are ever targeted by recession-era scams. Earlier this month, the Bank of England raised the UK’s base rate to 1.75 percent and sounded the alarm that a recession would likely occur by the end of the year. Current estimates suggest this financial turmoil will last for just over a year which means Britons will have to be on the lookout for potential fraudsters who are looking to take advantage.

A recession is the term used to describe when a country’s economy experiences three-month periods or quarters of a drop in growth in a row.

The last time the UK was in a recession was in 2020 during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

Fraud experts believe the likelihood of people being targeted by scams will rise as a result of this development.

This warning comes amid the current cost of living crisis which is putting unprecedented pressure on families.

READ MORE: State pension set to rise next year but 520,000 people will miss out

As it stands, inflation in the UK is at 10.1 percent and is set to reach 13 percent in the coming months.

On top of this, energy bills are forecast to reach over £3,600 in two months’ time and exceed £4,200 by January 2023.

With inflation and energy costs skyrocketing, fraudsters are cold-calling those feeling the pressure to convince them to part with their cash 

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, fraud expert Colum Smith from Taylor Rose MW broke down how scammers are likely to take advantage of the pending recession.

Mr Smith explained: “The cost of living crisis is like a honeypot for criminals who prey on the vulnerable and those who are looking to try and save money during these hardest of times.

“Right now be particularly wary of any emails or text messages suggesting deals or special offers requiring you to sign up and pass on your bank details.

“If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Never share your details unless it is with someone you know or trust.”

Notably, the scam expert highlighted how criminals are happy to impersonate officials at financial institutions as part of their operations.

READ MORE: Britons in higher bracket can do 2 main things to reduce tax payments

“It is also increasingly common for fraudsters to pose as bank officials,” he said.

“Criminals regularly call victims saying they can help provide loans and extend an overdraft, preying on the fact you might need a bit of breathing space with your bills.

“Never hand over details to cold-callers like this.

“Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated with criminals increasingly looking to pose as Government agencies or official bodies.

“Make sure you are on red alert for things like this. If concerned or confused, call into your bank or the citizens advice bureau.

“Also, social media is a great place to find out details of ongoing scams.

“More often than not victims will share screenshots of texts, letters and emails they’ve received. You can then see in seconds if you are another victim and rip up the letter or dump the email into your junk.

“Never reply to fraud emails, even if you feel angry, because this can allow the criminal access to your server which may be their intention in contacting you in the first place.”

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