As part of Scams Awareness Month, Suffolk Trading Standards is urging Suffolk residents to be scam aware.
Last year, Citizens Advice found that almost three quarters of people surveyed had been targeted by a scam in the previous two years (2015-17). It is estimated that only 5-15% of scams are reported, and some people don’t even know they have been scammed.
Scammers target people by post, phone calls, text messages, emails, and they even visit homes without any warning. Scams come in a variety of forms, from lottery scams to fake ticketing and emails, but ultimately a scam is any attempt to fraudulently obtain money or something else of value.
While new scams crop up all the time, the tactics of scammers remain the same. They will often:
Suffolk Trading Standards is advising residents to:
Suffolk Trading Standards has the ability to prosecute those who undertake these misleading actions and provides support and advice to victims of scams. As part of the fight against scammers, Suffolk Trading Standards implements ‘No Cold Calling Zones’, just one way that doorstep scams can be stopped. More information is available at: www.suffolk.gov.uk/nocoldcallingzone.
They also manage a Consumer Champion Network, where residents receive the latest information on scams which they pass on to their local communities. Anyone can become a Consumer Champion by visiting: www.suffolk.gov.uk/JoinTheFight.
Throughout June, the Consumer Champions are working with Suffolk Trading Standards to raise awareness of scams and ‘Meet up Monday’ organisers will be talking to residents at events. More information about Meet up Mondays is available at: www.meetupmondays.org.uk.
Cllr Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said:
“Scammers often target the county’s most vulnerable residents, but this is not always the case, therefore all Suffolk residents must be vigilant. I urge anyone who is concerned that they or a friend or family member might have been scammed to call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on: 03454 040506 or Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office on: 0300 1232040."