If someone calling you out of the blue sounded like a “nice person”, would you be more likely to trust them?
If the answer is yes, you could be falling straight into a fraudster’s trap.
Last year, around £2million was lost every day to financial fraud – and with banks continuously investing in security systems to thwart fraudsters, criminals are turning to old-fashioned methods to trick people into voluntarily handing over their personal details or even transferring cash directly into their bank account.
Dr Paul Breen, of Financial Fraud Action UK’s Take Five campaign against financial fraud, found six language tricks that scammers use .
1. Con artists will use snippets of information about you, gathered together from different sources, to sound like they know what they’re talking about.
2. They will create a false balance of power by using apologetic language for taking up your time to make you feel sympathetic towards them.
3. They will stay patient as they continue to build up layers of seeming authenticity until you’re convinced they’re legitimate.
4. Fraudsters may pose as someone in authority, such as a fraud detection manager or a police officer investigating an ongoing crime.
5. On the whole, people claim to be cautious of trusting strangers without meeting them – one in three (38 per cent) claim to “never really trust anyone” when speaking over the phone – but the analysis suggests fraudsters are well-prepared to get this reaction. Contrary to what might be expected, fraudsters may welcome your scepticism. But they will turn it into a weakness, by acknowledging your concerns about being security conscious
6. A sign of a con may be the caller switching tempo and increasing or decreasing the pressure by creating a false sense of urgency or using understanding language.