Gloucester experts share top tips for protecting your money and avoiding common financial scams

From safeguarding your finances and recognising red flags to securing your personal data and verifying an advisor, the experts at Gloucester-based financial planning practice, Sanderson Financial, reveal the most recent scams and how avoid them.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
Anyone can be at risk of a phishing or investment scam, so it pays to be vigilant, says Gloucester-based Sanderson Financial.

There's a barrage of financial scams and traps in today's digital society, some of them so convincing that no one would blame you for believing that innocent-looking email or text that pops up on your phone.

SoGlos spoke to William Collins, managing director of Gloucester-based Sanderson Financial, to find out how we can best protect our finances and stay savvy with our money.

When it comes to our finances, what do we need to be aware of?

Financial security is paramount, but in today's world, it's not just about making wise investments and saving diligently. The unfortunate reality is that financial scams are prevalent, and they threaten your hard-earned money and financial stability. In the UK, where financial markets are vibrant and diverse, it's crucial for individuals to remain vigilant against an array of scams that can result in devastating financial losses. 

What types of financial fraud are common in the UK?

Financial scams in this country encompass a wide range of deceptive activities. These may include phishing emails or calls impersonating trusted institutions such as banks or government agencies.

Scammers employ sophisticated tactics to gain your trust, making it crucial to stay informed and vigilant. Ponzi schemes, cryptocurrency scams, investment fraud and pension scams are also prevalent. These scams entice victims with promises of high returns with little risk; ultimately ensnaring them in financial traps.

What are the red flags to look out for?

When evaluating an investment opportunity, be cautious if you feel pressured into making quick decisions. Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to discourage thorough due diligence. Promises of guaranteed returns should raise immediate suspicion, as all investments involve some level of risk.

A significant red flag is the absence of proper documentation or transparency. Always verify the credentials of anyone offering an investment and ensure the firm is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it usually is.

Are there any steps we should take to protect ourselves?

To safeguard your information from identity thieves, make sure your computer and devices have up-to-date security software. Use strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts and consider utilising a reputable password manager.

When sharing personal information online or over the phone, exercise caution. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unsolicited emails, as these may contain malware or phishing attempts.

How do we check whether a financial advisor or scheme is official before we agree to anything?

The UK has regulatory bodies in place to oversee financial services and shield consumers from scams. The primary regulatory authority for financial services in the UK is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Before engaging with a financial adviser or investment firm, it's essential to verify their credentials using the FCA Register. This resource provides information about authorised firms and professionals. Reputable financial experts should be transparent about their qualifications and fees, and never pressuring you into hasty decisions. Always trust your instincts and if you have doubts about a financial adviser or investment opportunity, seek a second opinion.

Can you give us a recent example of a scam that has been going around?

Recent scams in the UK have included fraudulent schemes related to the Covid pandemic, such as fake vaccine offers and pandemic-related investment scams. Cryptocurrency scams, Ponzi schemes and phishing attempts also persist. Awareness of these can help you recognise similar tactics in the future, enabling you to safeguard your finances.

Protecting your finances in the UK demands more than just awareness; it requires proactive steps to secure your financial future. By comprehending common scams, identifying warning signs and verifying the legitimacy of financial advisers and firms, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these fraudulent activities.

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial scams, knowledge is your most robust defence. Stay informed, stay vigilant and fortify your financial wellbeing.

What's your final say on this?

Engaging the services of a qualified and regulated financial adviser is a prudent choice for clients seeking to mitigate their exposure to financial crime. By working with professionals who adhere to rigorous industry standards and regulatory guidelines, clients can benefit from expert advice, tailored financial strategies and a vigilant approach to safeguarding their assets.

At Sanderson Financial we are well-versed in identifying and addressing potential risks, ensuring that clients' financial affairs are managed securely and transparently. Ultimately, this partnership not only offers peace of mind but also contributes to the long-term financial well-being of clients in an increasingly complex and interconnected global financial landscape.

In partnership with Sanderson Financial  |

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