Scams Awareness Month

Unfortunately there are people who will try to scam you out of your savings or even your pension.  Some scams are very sophisticated and scammers are opportunists.  It is not only the gullible that get scammed and it pays for everyone to be aware of scamming.  However, we particularly want to raise awareness amongst our clients because many of the people we advise are at or in retirement.  Clients who are at or in retirement can be vulnerable to scamming because they may be making big financial decisions that go beyond their usual day-to-day financial knowledge, for example deciding what to do with a pension at retirement.  Some older investors start to find money matters more confusing and unfortunately this can be taken advantage of.

The warning signs of scam are:

  • It comes out of the blue or from someone you don’t know
  • It sounds out of the ordinary, e.g. you’ve won or inherited some money or are being invited to invest in something with returns or promises that seem too good to be true
  • Being asked to pay for something in advance, especially by bank transfer
  • Being asked to provide personal information such as bank details, passwords or your PIN
  • It pressures you to act quickly
  • It asks you to phone an expensive number, e.g. those starting 070, 084, 087, 090, 091 or 098
  • It is a financial offer from a firm who is not registered with the FCA.  You can check whether a company is registered with the FCA on their website: https://register.fca.org.uk/

You can check whether a firm or individual is a known scammer on the FCA website here: https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/unauthorised-firms-individuals.  However, if they don’t appear on the list do not assume the firm is legitimate if there are other warning signs. 

Sometimes scammers impersonate someone you do have a legitimate relationship with, such as your bank.  Remember:

  • Your bank will never ask you to confirm personal details by clicking on an email link
  • If you are contacted by phone and asked to provide your personal details, you can decline and say you will call the company back.  Find their number independently (e.g. on a letter or their website) and ring back
  • Be wary if there are spelling or grammatical errors.  Companies will usually proofread and correct these before sending an email
  • Check email addresses and links in emails.  Hover over the link and read what it says at the bottom of the screen

If you think something might be a scam:

  • Don’t hand over any personal information
  • Don’t reply to their emails, click on any links or download any files or attachments
  • Don’t send them any money or buy anything
  • Don’t ring any numbers in emails or letters you receive from them
  • Don’t let them into your house if they’re at your door

You can also protect yourself by installing antivirus software on your computer.

For further advice or to report a scam contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/.  You might be able to stop others from being scammed if you report a scam.

We are also happy for existing clients to run things past us if they are concerned.  Please call us on 0117 966 5699.

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Quote Mark
  • "I am so pleased I decided to get in touch with Richard. He helped me to re-organise my finances so that I get a better income. I had no idea how to go about this and Richard's advice and practicality in this matter has been invaluable. Richard keeps me very much up to date and his clear explanations and friendly manner are much appreciated" Valerie Buchan (Retiree), Henleaze
  • "We have a personal relationship with Richard which helps inspire communication and builds up a better understanding of the portfolio. We have had a very friendly, responsive and professional experience. Richard always responds to emails very quickly and is always helpful" Chas and Jackie Saw (Pre-Retirees), South Bristol
  • "The service we have received has been highly satisfactory. It is great having a local financial adviser who is readily accessible for advice." Albert and Audrey Stiles (Retirees), Westbury-On-Trym
  • "We can only say the service we have received has been 100%! We find the personal contact gives us more confidence to discuss our situation. All queries are efficiently dealt with." John and Nancy Thorpe (Retirees), Westbury-On-Trym
  • "Richard provides a very flexible, excellent customer service. Richard is very organised and very easy to work with. He has excellent knowledge which is explained clearly." Marcus and Kelly Jones (Family), Henleaze
  • "We have found it very good having a local adviser. Richard always calls around when requested. We get a very good personal service and Richard clearly knows what he is doing." Chris and Carolyn Carwardine (Retirees), Sneyd Park
  • "Richard has offered us a professional, personal, face-to-face service. He has delivered an excellent service to us, meeting and exceeding our expectations. We welcome his personal approach and attention to detail. Richard identified some potential savings for us at our very first meeting." Matt and Zoe Hill (Family), Westbury-on-Trym
  • "We have found the service of Wealth West very consistent and reliable. We are very confident in the service given. Follow-ups have been thorough and explained with understanding as Richard has good teaching qualities." Bob and Norma Hall(Retirees), Coombe Dingle
  • "Richard has always been very accessible, a real advantage and gives me confidence in our dealings. The level of service has been first class. Richard has always carried out his promised actions on time. Any technical advice has been explained in a very clear and understandable manner." Donald Owen (Retiree), Coombe Dingle
  • "The service has been a perfect blend of professionalism and care for us and our money. Gives advice in a way that we can understand easily. Have recommended Richard to others and will continue do so." Ralph Payne(Retiree), Stoke Bishop
  • "With Richard we are not talking to a salesman with targets but someone we know and we know where his office is. Someone who also knows the area we live in and no call centre ethos!" Vanessa Payne (Retiree), Stoke Bishop
  • "We have found Richard to show a personal attention to our needs and the process involves a relaxed discussion of options with no pressure and this has helped us feel confident in the decisions made. The accessibility of being able to make contact at any time and of being seen at home is a great advantage." Colin and Elizabeth Sleith (Retirees), Stoke Bishop
  • "The level of service has been very good. I am also very happy with the advice received and the level of technical knowledge." Gillian Dunphy (Retiree), Stoke Bishop
  • "Richard is cautious and suggests ideas in a reasonable and sensible manner. But he is not pushy! I feel confident in Richard's technical knowledge and able to make careful, sensible decisions. I would be happy to recommend Wealth West!." Jeremy Krause (Retiree), Clifton
  • " Richard offers a great, tailored approach to financial advice. He feels more like a friend than an anonymous advisor. The level of service has been wonderful. I really like how Richard is proactive in considering issues we hadn't thought of, rather than just helping with our queries. Richard is a really safe pair of hands and is always up to date with the most recent changes and opportunities." Alex and Rachel Major (Family), Westbury on Trym
  • "We have found having a local advisor beneficial in that we have been able to deal with the same person throughout, enabling easy access with rapid response. We feel we have had a good level of service with explanations easy to comprehend whilst taking account of our circumstances with a level of risk we are comfortable with." Owen and Patricia McNamara (Retirees), Westbury on Trym
  • "The service I have received from Richard and June has, so far, been excellent. Both of them, at the end of the telephone, have dealt with any problems very quickly and efficiently. Home visits are also a very good part of the service, another personal touch." Jenny and Keith Higgs(Retirees), Shirehampton
  • "The help I received to sort out a pension from the 1970's was sorted out extremely well and very much to my advantage, thanks to their knowledge and assistance." Jenny and Keith Higgs(Retirees), Shirehampton
  • "It's a personal service. Richard is very easy to talk to and we felt that he cared." Gordon and Sandra Inglis (Retirees), Henleaze
  • "I value the convenience of regular home visits and being informed of my current financial situation." Barbara Allen (Retiree), Stoke Bishop
  • "We have found that being advised by a local adviser on a face-to-face basis inspires us with confidence, knowing he is the one making the decisions. We are very happy with the service, it is nice to be having meetings in our own home." Tony and Angela Cropper (Retirees), Henleaze