Scams Awareness 2021 - are you #ScamAware?


The situation 

The coronavirus pandemic has seen a rise in scams, with fraudsters trying to take advantage of the uncertainty and financial fallout. Consumer champion Which? found that £700,000 is lost to bank transfer scams every day. A recent Citizens Advice report found that almost three-quarters of people surveyed had been targeted by a scam in the previous two years. The National Audit Office (NAO) has estimated that individuals in the UK lose £10 billion a year due to fraud, not to mention the emotional impact.

Scams Awareness Fortnight 

The 2021 Scams Awareness Campaign takes place 14 - 27 June. We want you to become one of a network of confident, scam-aware consumers who are able to recognise a scam, report it to the appropriate agency and talk about their experiences to help raise public awareness. 

Identifying scams 

Scams come in many forms and are increasingly complex and sophisticated. It can be difficult to spot when someone is trying to scam you. Warning signs include: 

It seems too good to be true, such as “Get Rich Quick” investment schemes

There’s unexpected contact, such as someone you don’t know getting in touch or a parcel delivery you’re not expecting

You’ve been asked for personal information like passwords or your bank details  

You’re being urged to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it or talk to family and friends

You’ve been asked to pay urgently or in an unusual way, for example by gift vouchers or a transfer service, or you keep being asked for extra money to complete the deal 

You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company, like if there’s no postal address  

You are being asked to pay for a product or service before receiving written confirmation of what’s been agreed

Reporting scams 

Reporting scams helps authorities stop the criminals responsible, and protects others from being scammed. Anyone who’s been scammed should: 

  • Call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133. We’ll pass on details of the scam to Trading Standards, and can offer further advice
  • Report the scam to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud. They'll also give a crime reference number, which can be helpful if you need to tell your bank you've been scammed

It’s important to talk about our experiences with family and friends. By letting them know what’s happened they can be prepared, and confiding in someone can be a weight off your shoulders.  

For more information, go to the Citizens Advice website.

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