Every year the British public loses billions of pounds to scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door to door and telephone scams. Scams (frauds) are very difficult to investigate, often involving many victims and many suspects.
The perpetrators are difficult to catch, sometimes based in countries where the authorities are not co-operative with UK investigations. This is why it is so important that we are aware of the nature of different scams so as to protect ourselves against falling victim.
Anyone can become a victim of a scam but elderly and vulnerable people are much more likely to fall victim, especially if they are lonely, isolated or suffering from a condition such as dementia.
A chronic scam victim is someone who replies to a scam mail and is then repeatedly targeted by mass market scams, sometimes receiving hundreds of scam mailings and telephone calls each week. Victims have been known to lose all their life savings, their homes and even their lives.
For further information about chronic scam victims and information on how to protect your vulnerable loved ones visit the think jessica website.
The following are some examples of the most common scams:
• Identity fraud (Theft of an individuals personal details)
• Courier fraud
• Insurance scams
• Mass market fraud ( scam mail)
• Investment scams
• Door to Door scams
• Dating and romance scams
• Banking and payment scams
• Mobile phone scams
• Health and medical scams
• Internet scams
Remember these 10 golden rules to beat the scammers
- Be suspicious of all "too good to be true" offers. There are no guaranteed get rich quick schemes.
- Never agree to offers or deals immediately. Get independent / legal advice first.
- Never hand over money or sign anything until you have properly verified the credentials of the company or individual.
- Never send money to anyone you do not know or trust or use methods of payment you are not comfortable with.
- Never ever give your bank or personal details to anyone you do not know.
- Always log onto a website directly rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
- Do not rely solely on glowing testimonials. Make sure you get proper evidence of a company's success.
- Consider registering with the Telephone Preference Service to stop unsolicited telephone calls. This is a free service. www.tpsonline.org.uk Registration can be made on line or by phone 0845 070 0707
- Always get independent / legal advice if an offer involves money, time or commitment.
- Don't be embarrassed to report a scam. The scammers are very good at what they do. Help to make it more difficult for them to con others.
If you have been scammed report it and get help. Contact Action Fraud (UK’s National Fraud Office): 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.org.uk
For further information, or if you spot a scam, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk
For more tips on how to protect yourself and information on what to do if you get scammed
download a copy of "The Little Book of Big Scams" and "The Little Book of Big Scams-Business Edition" Both excellent booklets were created by the Metropolitan Police Force
Follow the links from this page to view the latest consumer scams.
If you have any queries please contact us:
General Enquiries: 01782 232065
Fax no: 01782 236368
Minicom: 01782 236429