After a member of the public submitted contact details on a dodgy site, an imposter got in contact with them offering Pru bonds. Have you encountered a scam like this?
A member of the public searched ‘best rate Isa’ on a search engine and picked the top result. The site had a webform asking for their name, email address and phone number, which they submitted.
The next day a man called claiming to be from insurance and savings giant, Prudential. He sent a brochure about Pru bonds, containing Pru’s logo.
Oddly, he demanded they invest within the next fortnight, and that they pay by bank transfer.
Concerned, they contacted the (genuine) Prudential fraud team, which confirmed the contact was fraudulent. But the ‘Pru’ impostor kept calling, chasing an investment and offering to extend the deadline.
Fraudulent paid ads
It’s likely that the search result they clicked on is an ad that someone has paid for to be in that top position, unlike ‘organic’ results that achieve their high position through relevance and trustworthiness.
A recent Which? Money investigation showed that savings-related search terms on Google were littered with scam and unregulated sponsored results (although you used a different search engine in this instance).
It’s best to avoid search engine ads for financial services – to find the best savings products, see our guide here.
When you know which firm you want to use, confirm its real contact details and website on the Financial Conduct Authority financial services register.
It’s likely you will receive more scam calls and emails in future. Be wary of unsolicited contact, and consider a call-blocking device or service.
Have you encountered a scam through paid search engine advertising? Let us know in the comments.