Be Scam Aware!
According to Trading Standards scams cost the UK economy between £5 – 10 billion pounds a year, with only 5% of them being reported? 53% of people over 65 years old have been targeted by scams.
They have recognised 4 main types of scam: postal, telephone, doorstep and online scams. Recent examples have included those related to council tax rebates, personal protective equipment and vaccines for COVID-19, fake lottery wins and scam phones calls pretending to be from HMRC, Amazon or similar.
You can protect yourself and others by following these 5 tips provided by Trading Standards:
- Be sceptical, don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door
- Never disclose your personal or bank details
- Don’t assume everyone is genuine
- Take your time, don’t be rushed into making decisions
- Stay in control
If you receive lots of nuisance phone calls Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards are offering free call blocking devices to all eligible residents. The device plugs into your landline and works with your existing phone. It is programmed with your known contacts and allows other trusted organisations (e.g. GP) to get through via filtering system. All other nuisance calls are then blocked.
To help you feel more empowered on your doorstep to say no to unwanted knocks on your door, they have free ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers that you can display. Other residents have found that they act as a deterrent to unwanted traders.
If you, or someone you know, is a victim of a scam, there are several organisations Trading Standards recommend reaching out to:
- To request more information about call blockers or to get your free no cold calling sticker pack please email email@example.com or call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133
- To report a scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
- To get advice or report a trader to trading standards, contact Citizen Advice on 0808 223 1133
- If you (or someone you know) is at imminent risk from losing money to a scam, contact the police on 999. If it is a non-emergency, ring police on 101