Citizens Advice: How to avoid falling victim to the scammers

According to YouGov, one in four Britons receive scam calls, texts, and emails every day, with 35 per cent of us having fallen victim to one.

Kirklees Citizens Advice & Law Centre chief executive Nick Whittingham writes: Although 2021 was a record year for fraud prevention with over £101 million in scam card payments prevented by the police, scams are on the increase.

With the ever increasing use of technology in our everyday life and the current cost of living crisis, scams around bills, the council tax rebate, gas and electricity will be more common and sophisticated in the coming months.

Some recent scams we’ve seen are fake Covid-19 tests before a holiday, fake parcel delivery texts and scams playing on people’s fears around cost of living such as fake rebate schemes supposedly from energy companies or the local council.

BEWARE: Scams are on the increase. Photo: AdobeStock

This year, Citizens Advice Scams Awareness fortnight is taking place June 13-26.

During this time we will be trying to increase awareness of new scams, helping people to identify them and what you can do if you think you may have fallen victim to a scam.

Remember – it might be a scam if:

○ It seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect

○ Someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly

○ You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address or their email address doesn’t look official

○ You’ve been asked to transfer money quickly and you feel like you’re being pressured

○ You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way

○ You’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs

○ You haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed – if you’re paying for a service for example

If you think you’ve been scammed, you should contact your bank.

The bank may be able to stop any access to your money before anything happens.

You can also visit http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams – here you can report the scam, and find out what to do next depending on your situation.

For help with online scams, contact a Citizens Advice Scams Action adviser by calling 0808 250 5050.

For more information about other types of scams, visit the Citizens Advice website listed above.

If you would like to speak to Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre, you can call us on 0808 278 7896 (Freephone), where we help thousands of people each year.

With the looming cost of living crisis you may be coming to us for the first time, but we can help with issues such as employment, asylum, debt, benefits, budgeting and much more.

See our website at http://www.kcalc.org.uk for more information about the range of services that we provide as well as some self-help information.

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