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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Things to look out for in a boiler room fraud

boiler room fraud

Fraudsters seek to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers
By Andrew Reilly

Knowing what to look out for with respect to boiler room fraud is very important and this information may be exactly what you need to know in order to stay safe and not become a victim of fraud.

If you receive a call or contact out of the blue

The first warning sign that something isn’t right comes with receiving a call or communication out of the blue. If this is the first time that the company has contacted you, you should be wary. Why are they deciding to contact you and why have you been singled out to receive this offer. There will likely be an excuse given to you as to why you have been selected, so it is important for you to evaluate this reasoning.

Does it sound plausible? If you don’t think that the explanation provided to you by the fraudster is sensible or likely to be true, you should be very cautious. In fact, you should probably look to end the conversation as quickly as you can.

Be aware if the person on the other end of the line is knowledgeable

One thing that many boiler room fraud victims say is that they were taken in by the fact that the fraudster was well-spoken and knowledgeable about the suspect. The thing is, as this is a very lucrative crime, it makes sense for the fraudster to increase their chances of success. If you were talking to someone who claimed to represent a high standing shares company but the person spoke in slang or didn’t seem to understand the concept of shares, you would be suspicious. In fact, you would think that you’d be mad to give your time, let alone your money, to this person, so you would cut the conversation short.

Fraudsters know this and this means that the people who carry out the call are likely to come across as genuine. This doesn’t help you differentiate between genuine callers and fraudsters but it should prevent you from thinking that every legitimate sounding caller is legitimate. There is nothing wrong with being cautious or hesitant, even when dealing with genuine firms so don’t let a well-spoken person con or fool you.

Be aware if the person is persistent

A common feature of boiler room fraud is the fraudster being very persistent when it comes to getting you to sign up or agree the deal. Even if you politely decline or try to end the conversation, you may find that the person on the other end of the line will keep on at you in an attempt to conclude a deal.

If you under pressure or stressed about their actions, then tell them so and stop the call. If they continue to persist or make you feel concerned, just hang up. A lot of people worry about being seen as acting rude, and this is why they would rather not terminate a call in this manner. However, given that a person is harassing you and is not acceding to your wishes, you are well within your rights to terminate the call as you wish. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, make sure you take control and end the conversation.

If you have agreed, be wary of the fraudster threatening police action

If you have handed over money or you have provide banking information to someone and you now have concerns about this information, it is up to you to inform the relevant authorities. You should know that calling the authorities is a tactic that is available to you, but it isn’t one that any fraudster will undertake.

If you have agreed a deal and then decide against it, you’ll find that the fraudster is very reluctant to let this be the end of the matter. They may threaten you with police action but you should be confident that a fraudster will not do this. They will threaten you with this action but given that a fraudster has a lot more to lose by involving the police than you do, you’ll find that a fraudster will not contact the police.

If you suspect that you have been contacted with respect to this style of fraud, or that you have been a victim of this style of fraud, it is vital that you contact the authorities as quickly as possible. The sooner you provide relevant information, the greater the chance there will be of catching the criminal. There will also be an improved chance of ensuring other people aren’t victims of the same crime or from the same gang. This may not sound like much of a comfort to you but if someone else had reported previous crimes, you may not have been a victim. While providing information that prevents other people from suffering won’t really help you recover your money or feel better, it can help other people avoid feeling as bad as you do.

About the author: 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.

Image: Got Credit/Flickr; "Fraud Button" CC BY 2.0