Scammers have boundless imaginations and are always coming up with new ploys. To protect yourself against scams, it is useful to recognise the typical behaviours of criminals, the main weaknesses they exploit in their victims and the situations to which they are particularly attracted.
Older people are often seen as "easy" victims. Criminals assume older people will have more money and that they are particularly vulnerable due to naivety, a lack of caution or awareness, or having slower reactions. However, older people are not the only ones who can fall into scammers' traps.
Criminals seek to destabilise and persuade their victim(s), and will often try to isolate and/or pressure them to act in a particular way.
People's naivety offers a vast playground for fraudsters. As a general rule:
- Be wary of easy money and free services.
- Always check the identity of your contact. Refrain from talking to strangers trying to sell you goods or services you do not need.
- Read documents fully before signing them.
- Never give your personal data to strangers.
- Take time to think! The more pressure the seller applies, the more suspicious the situation becomes.
- Change your password regularly.
Do not hesitate to report any scams or attempted scams to the Police or file a complaint.