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Scams Awareness 2019

Scams Awareness 2019

Scams Awareness is a yearly campaign which aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who know what to do when they see a scam. This year's campaign will take place over two weeks, from the 10th-23rd June.

Common scams and doorstep crimes

We are dedicating this page to the scams Awareness Campaign for June. This week we focus on older consumers (Over 70s)

Over 70s lose the most from scams, with an average of £4,500 taken. They are more vulnerable to phone and mail frauds, and may have the funds that those running investment, equity release and pension frauds target. The typical loss from investment frauds is £10,500. They are also more likely to be recurring victims.

Some of the main concerns are shown below.

Doorstep frauds

Criminals use a variety of door step tactics to make victims part with their money or gain entry to their homes.

Sometimes they pose as workers from gas, water or electricity suppliers, often complaining that it is an emergency. Do not let them in; and if they stress it is urgent, say you will call the utility provider. Use a number on a bill, not one they give you.

Another common trick is to claim they are working in the area, and have spotted a problem that can be easily repaired for a small fee. However, they keep finding more work, and the bill becomes bigger and bigger. If someone you don't know says that; thank them for the information, and say you have a regular handyman who you will tell about it.

Telephone scams

Communication by telephone is another method used by criminals as it is a very effective and easy method by which personal details and/or financial information can be obtained.

Common tricks are to pretend they are from a bank or from the police, and have found some problems on your account. Despite being from the bank they still ask for your details. Never provide those details to such callers; even if they say hang up and dial a number they gave you. Most often they stay on the phone, and you end up talking to a different fraudster.

This link connects to a recording of such a call released by Avon police. Brief advice specific to phone scams is available here

Postal scams

Postal Scams come in many forms and attempt to extract personal details, financial information or money. No matter how luxurious the certificate looks, you do not win money on a lottery without buying a ticket.

Search #scamaware and follow the campaign's updates on Facebook and Twitter.

More information

Anyone concerned about scams can get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.