One of the biggest issues about boiler room scams is that they can cost people a massive amount of money in a very short period of time. This has been driven home of late by the fact that an elderly woman from Oldmeldum lost £99,000 after she was the victim of a boiler room scheme. This is a style of crime where someone poses as a stockbroker and they convince the victim to buy shares. These shares are worthless or worth very little, offering no benefit or value to the buyer.
When a crime like this occurs, there will always be a campaign reminding people of the dangers of this style of crime. It is reasonable to assume that criminals who have achieved success in this way will be keen to strike again, so it makes sense to inform people of this style of crime and the dangers it carries. While it is sadly too late for the person that suffered the crime, it can only be hoped that other crimes will be prevented, ensuring people don’t lose out on their money.
Helpful advice will hopefully minimise the level of impact these crimes can have
DI Iain McPhail from the Economic Crime Unit of Police Scotland spoke at length about the need to check on the legitimacy of any product or service that you are offered. Before people provide their personal or banking details to anyone, they will need to make sure that they are confident about doing so and this is the safe decision for them to make.
DI McPhail said; “Sadly, financial crime is an area which is often under reported, mainly because the victims feel humiliated they were conned out of sums of money and they quite often do not confide in other family members as they don’t want people to know. I would urge the public to be cyber-savvy, and if using the internet, to be wary of clicking on links that are e-mailed or appear in pop-up boxes at random and to keep their virus software up-to-date on their computers.
If in doubt do not click on any links you are unsure about. Do not be bullied or pressured into buying anything over the telephone. If you are feeling uncomfortable with any conversation just hang up. Do not be attracted by a promise to make quick and easy money. If the offer is too good to be true, then it probably is.”
The last few points in the statement are well worth highlighting and bringing to the fore:
- Do not click links that you are unsure of
- Do not be bullied
- Do not be pressured
- Keep your anti-virus software up to date
- If you feel uncomfortable at any point, hang up
- Don’t be drawn into an effort to make quick and easy money
- If an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is
These are all great pieces of advice for life, not just boiler room scams, but you can see why this advice will be of great benefit to people who are being harassed or hassled by people carrying out boiler room scams.
Do not let these fraudsters pressure you
There is definitely a lot to be said about not feeling pressured by these fraudsters. There have been many reported instances of high-pressure sales tactics being used by people carrying out this style of crime. There are some industries where high pressure sales tactics are a common sales strategy but people should remember that they are always in control. This means that if someone is placing you under great or continual pressure, you should look to hang up your phone.
This is something that many people don’t like doing and you can see that this can be deemed as being rude, but in the grand scheme of things, if someone is trying to scam you out money, being slightly rude back isn’t the worst of crimes.
There is no doubt that boiler room scams can change people’s lives, so it is important to be aware of the dangers associated with these crimes. Following these tips will provide people with the information they need to stay safe when faced with this style of crime. Boiler room scams are not the most common of crimes but they can greatly impact on a person’s life, so be aware of them.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.