Can you recognise a Scam? Scams Awareness Month
The Citizens Advice Bureau together with Trading Standards, is raising awareness of scammers. New figures show over 22,000 reported scams in England and Wales over the past twelve months. The campaign wants people to ‘spot scams to stop scams.’
The Office of Fair Trading say almost half of us (48%) are targeted by scams. As many as 3 million people fall victim to cons costing that cost individuals a total of £3.5 billion a year.
An analysis of the Citizens Advice scams scanner – which has tracked cons since 2007 – show that hard times are when the scammers thrive – preying on the out of work and hard up. Scams include fake training with the promise of jobs as a result. This scam gets people to pay upfront for training that doesn’t exist, and lures people in with the promise of employment once they’ve finished the training. Commission only scams also boom in hard times, these get people to work on the promise of commission but the firms they work for are fake. Other scams include dangerous debt help where offers of loans or help to clear debts include an upfront fee. Once the fee has been paid, the victim never gets the promised loan or help to sort out their debts.
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said, “This month we’re warning people to be on the look out for rogues looking to make a quick buck at their expense and reminding that scams are crimes so it is vital they are reported.”
What to do if you have been scammed:
- Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to help stop it happening to others.
- Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 (for advice in Welsh phone 08454 04 05 05) or online advice at www.adviceguide.org.uk