Scams awareness month July 2015

We’re taking part in Scams Awareness Month July 2015. Find out more about the month by visiting the Citizens Advice website.

The campaign aims to stop people being rushed into hasty decisions by scammers and to end victims being hushed into silence by a sense of shame, foolhardiness, or weary acceptance.

Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers. Some estimates of the total cost of mass-marketed scams are as high as £5 billion. The truth is - with reporting levels as low as five percent - this cost could be far higher.

However, talking of thousands, millions or even billions of pounds undervalues the wider social cost of scams: the blight they bring to people’s lives, the emotional trauma for families and the loss of confidence among not only their victims, but every consumer who hears about them.

What can you do to tackle scams

There are four things that you can do if you suspect that you are the target of a scam

  1. Check with a trusted friend, relative or neighbour.
  2. Get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service 08454 04 05 06.
    Get online consumer advice and information at: www.citizensadvice.org.uk. To report a problem to trading standards, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. Trading Standards are responsible for protecting consumers and the community against rogue and unfair traders.
  3. Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. If debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam the consumer’s first step should be to contact their bank or credit card company.
  4. Tell family, friends, neighbours so that they can avoid scams.

Scams: Don’t be rushed, don’t be hushed…

We have already sent posters to healthcare centres and libraries to encourage people to report scams. We will also be at the following venues during July to raise awareness of scams.

  • 14 July at Witney Community Day
  • 30 July at Barclays Bank, Oxford

If you have been a victim of a scam, please contact www.actionfraud.police.uk or telephone  0300 123 2040.

If you know someone who is vulnerable and is giving money to postal scams, please report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 and our Trading Standards team will be please to assist.