Scams and Scam Alerts

Scam Alerts

Every year, three million people fall victims to scams, losing an average of £850 per person. There are cases where people have lost their entire life savings.

A scam is a scheme designed to con someone and make as much money as possible for the scammer. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated in the ways they want to con us. Scams can take many forms, but most scams can arrive by post, telephone or email.

Remember, if something appears too good to be true then it probably is.

To view the current local scams that we are aware of, please see the list on the left hand side.

 

Scam awareness month - July 2015

This campaign is asking people to keep two things in mind when they receive an unsolicited approach or when they are looking for goods or services: don't be rushed and don't be hushed.

People should take their time to make a decision and get their facts together before parting with their money or personal information, and speak out when they think they've spotted a scam.

Find out more about the campaign by clicking here

 

Keep Yourself Scam Free:

Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to reduce unwanted sales calls. You can register for free on 0845 0700707or go to www.tpsonline.org.uk

Register with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) to reduce unwanted mail. You can register for free on 0845 7034599 or go to www.mpsonline.org.uk

If you need advice or want to report a scam contact the Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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Common scams

  • Scam Emails
    You may receive emails that claim to be from your bank or building society, The message will ask you to click a link to update or validate your details or account information. The message will direct you to a website that looks very convincing; the scammer is trying to trick you into revealing your personal information, passwords and bank details.

    Legitimate companies do not ask for this type of information by email, your own bank will never ask for your account details. Always stop and think and be sceptical of an email asking for your personal details.

     
  • Lotteries, sweepstakes and competitions
    You may receive a letter through the post telling you that you have won a prize, lottery or sweepstake. The letter will say that you are a guaranteed winner of thousands of pounds. You will be told that to claim your prize all you have to do is send off an admin fee or ring a premium rate telephone number.

    Ask yourself this question: Did I buy a ticket?
    No genuine lottery, prize draw or sweepstake will offer you a prize if you have not bought a ticket and they will never ask you to send money up front to claim your prize. If you have on a real prize it should cost you nothing to claim it.
     
  • Catalogue and brochure scams
    You may receive a catalogue or brochure through the post selling a variety of different products including clothes and items for the home and garden. These catalogues will also include supposed medical products which can benefit health and wellbeing. There is a guaranteed prize for anyone who places an order.

    These prizes will never materialise and you will only receive more catalogues or brochures, they will offer more prizes if you place another order.
    If you have won a prize you do not have to pay to claim it and that includes placing an order. Always consult your doctor to make sure it is safe before buying a medical product by mail order or over the internet.
     
  • Clairvoyant Scams
    You may receive a letter from a concerned clairvoyant telling you they have had a vision and you are going to win a lot of money. The Clairvoyant will tell you that it is a personal letter to you and if you do not do as they say you will have bad luck. They will then ask for money to improve your luck and tell you that you will come into a lot of money as a result.

    Ask yourself the question:
    If this is a personal letter to me why has it been produced on a computer and printed out?
    If you read the letter carefully you will see that it is not written for one person and the person who has written it has no idea who will read it.
     
  • Telephone scams
    Each year many people fall victim to telephone fraudsters intent on stealing personal information and money.
    These fraudsters will sound very convincing and professional and may pressure you to act quickly; they may say they are from your bank or an official organisation.
    You will be told you will miss a golden opportunity to make money or that you will suffer some loss if you don’t act.

    If you receive an unsolicited call be on your guard as it may be a scam, never give personal or financial information out to anyone who cold calls you by telephone.
    Be cautious and if in doubt hang up.
     
  • Dating scams
    Using online dating websites scammers groom victims into long-distance relationships using emails, instant messaging, texting and phone calls.  Once they are confident of the victim's trust, scammers willl tell them about a problem they are experiencing and ask for financial help.

 If you need advice or want to report a scam contact the Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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