Spot scams! Stop Scams!
Scams are schemes to con you out of money. You may get a scam from a phone call, letter, email, text or through a knock at the door that comes out of the blue.
May 2014 is Scams Awareness month. Citizens Advice and the Trading Standards service have teamed up to raise awareness of this menace, help consumers to protect themselves and fight back against the scammers.
Common scams to watch out for:
- online scams
- postal cheats
- phone cons
- doorstep rip-offs.
How to spot a scam
All these are signs that it might be a scam:
- The call, letter, e-mail or text has come out of the blue
- You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about
- You didn’t buy a ticket – so can’t win it!
- They are asking you to send money in advance
- They are saying you have to respond quickly, so you don’t get time to think about it or ask family and friends before you decide
- They are telling you to keep it a secret
- They seem to be offering you something for nothing
- If it seems too good to be true – it probably is!
How to protect yourself better
These are some things you can do:
- Never give out contact details like your name, phone number or address to strangers or to people who should have this information already
- Never give financial information or details of your identity, bank accounts or credit card to strangers or to the businesses that should already hold your details
- Shred anything with your personal or bank details on – don’t just throw it away
- If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up
- Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No Thank You”
- Take your time – resist pressure to make a decision straight away
- Never send money to someone you don’t know
- Walk away from job adverts that ask for money in advance
- Ask friends, neighbours or family about whether an offer is likely to be a scam
Find out more
Get online consumer advice and information at: www.adviceguide.org.uk
Phone the Citizens Advice Consumer service 08454 04 05 06 for advice
(typetalk: 18001 08454 04 05 06)
Check the Action Fraud alerts to common scams/ frauds www.actionfraud.police.uk/news