The golden age of the internet has given us ease of connectivity and instant online payments. No wonder it’s also the golden age of fraud. Here are some tips on how to spot a scam …

  • You are promised investment returns that are too good to be true.
  • You are asked to pay in advance.
  • You are asked to make a quick decision.
  • You are asked for your credit card or bank account details.
  • It’s not clear exactly who you’re dealing with.
  • You are asked to click on an email link.
  • The message has suspicious wording.

And here are some common scams doing the rounds (with further detail in the links) …

The Friend in Need – the scammer hacks a friend’s email and tells you they are abroad, their money and cards have been lost or stolen and they need you to wire money to them immediately. The latest version of this is the ‘Hi Mum Scam’, where the scammer pretends to be a child who has lost their phone.

The Tax Refund – you get an email from ‘Revenue’ telling you to click on a link to claim a tax refund.

The Lottery Win – out of the blue an email tells you you have won a prize (in a draw you have not entered) which you can claim by paying a small administration fee.

The Airbnb Scam – cheap but fake listings are posted by scammers who get you to pay them directly (rather than through the safe Airbnb payments system).

Super-Sized Savings Rates – recently in Ireland we’re seeing scammers pretending to be Goldman Sachs (or other well known banks) offering unfeasibly high savings and investment returns, all guaranteed of course!

The Nigerian Prince – a member of African royalty has for reasons unknown chosen you as their beneficiary if only you’d give them your bank details.

Crypto Scams – sophisticated scams often run by experienced criminal syndicates are rife, usually in the form of a fake broker, a fake exchange, and fake crypto trades.

The Bogus Company – an email from your bank (or eBay or PayPal or Amazon) perhaps flagging a “suspicious transaction” asks you for account details and password.

The Tech Support Scam – a phone call warns you that your computer is at risk from a security threat which they can fix if you just give them some information.

The Fake Rental – scammers use fake names, fake photos and fake properties to extract deposits from desperate accommodation seekers.

The scammers are getting more and more inventive all the time so watch out and if you have been scammed you should contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.


If you like this article, try this one: How to get the Best Returns on Savings