Scam warning after nearly ‘three quarters of people’ are targeted
- Credit: Archant
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
- 1 Pub transformed into 'breathtaking' family home for sale for almost £1m
- 2 Community rally together after fire rips through family home
- 3 Historic pub and restaurant to reopen after £150,000 investment
- 4 One person treated at scene of house fire in Lowestoft
- 5 First case of Omicron confirmed in Suffolk with 16 more suspected
- 6 Lowestoft jeweller gets TV spot in Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Christmas
- 7 Pressure group anger over speeding drivers on busy bypass
- 8 Fallen tree blocks train lines near Lowestoft
- 9 Hundreds sign petition to fix closed Suffolk road as MP visits site
- 10 Investigations ongoing after stolen moped involved in crash
• 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.