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Scam warning after nearly ‘three quarters of people’ are targeted

PUBLISHED: 13:03 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:44 02 June 2018

Residents have been urged to stay vigilant as part of Scams Awareness Month. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Residents have been urged to stay vigilant as part of Scams Awareness Month. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

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Residents are being urged to stay vigilant as part of Scams Awareness Month.

Throughout June, Suffolk Trading Standards wants people in the county to be aware of the various methods of scamming, including post, phone calls, text messages, emails and cold calling.

Almost three quarters of people surveyed by Citizens Advice last year had been targeted by a scam in the previous two years (2015-17). It is estimated that only 5-15pc of scams are reported, while some people don’t even know they have been scammed.

Scams come in a variety of forms, from lottery scams to fake ticketing and emails, but ultimately a scam is defined as any attempt to fraudulently obtain money or something else of value.

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. All Suffolk residents must therefore be vigilant.”

While new scams crop up all the time, the tactics used by scammers usually include at least one of the following:

• Contacting you out of the blue

• Asking for personal or financial details

• Putting you under pressure to respond quickly

• Asking you to keep their offer secret

• Making promises or offers that sound too good to be true

Suffolk Trading Standards is able to prosecute anyone undertaking these misleading actions and provides support and advice to victims.

As part of the fight against scams, they implement ‘No Cold Calling Zones’, just one of the ways to stop doorstep scams.

Residents are advised to:

• Verify the identity of strangers

• Look out for grammatical or spelling mistakes in letters or flyers

• Never give out bank details

• Never send money to strangers

• Say no to persuasive sales talk

Suffolk Trading Standards also manages a Consumer Champion Network, where residents receive the latest information on scams and pass it on to their communities. Throughout June, the champions are working with trading standards to raise awareness and Meet Up Monday organisers will be talking to residents at events.

Anyone concerned that they might have been scammed is urged to call the Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 040506, or Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.

Visit the Suffolk County Council website for more information about cold calling or becoming a consumer champion.


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