Cheshire East’s Trading Standards Investigations service along with Citizens Advice Consumer Services are educating residents on the types of scams that are currently out there, how to spot them, what to do if they or someone they know falls victim to one and how to protect themselves in the future.
Scams affect millions of people each year across all walks of life, financially, physically and mentally. Many victims of scams suffer in silence with just five per cent of scams victims reporting the crime.
There are many different types of scams out there, but they all have the same purpose and that is to get their victims to part with their money. Unfortunately victims are quite often contacted repeatedly by different scammers and this can have devastating consequences.
Other names for a scam include fraud, hoax, con, swindle or cheat. It has been reported that 3.2 million people in the UK fall victim to scams each year, with £3.5 billion being lost. Although current figures believe the financial loss in the UK to be around £14.5 billion.
Scams awareness key messages:
- if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
- if you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it
- you shouldn't have to pay anything to get a prize
- if in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up
- persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No thank you”
- contacted out of the blue – be suspicious
- never send money to someone you don’t know
- computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
- don’t suffer in silence – tell others about scams