I hope you are well. Another day, another scam!
The Financial Hardship Department scam is a type of scam where fraudsters call or email individuals and claim to be representatives of a financial hardship department. They may claim that they can help you get out of debt, reduce your interest rates, or consolidate your loans.
However, the fraudsters will ask you to provide sensitive information such as your national identity number, bank account details, or credit card information. They may also ask you to pay an upfront fee or provide payment through a wire transfer or prepaid debit card.
In reality, there is no financial hardship department and the fraudsters are attempting to steal your personal and financial information or money.
To protect yourself from this scam, it is important to never provide personal information or payment to an unsolicited caller or email. Verify the legitimacy of any financial institution or service provider by contacting them directly using a phone number or email address found on their official website. Be cautious of any unsolicited offers that seem too good to be true, and never give into high-pressure sales tactics.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of this scam, you should immediately contact your financial institution and report the incident to the appropriate authorities in your country. In addition, you can report the incident to the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), which is a global network of consumer protection agencies that work together to combat fraud and other scams.
I personally know one elderly person who lost several thousand euro to this scam so please be on the lookout.
All the best,