Citizens Advice South Hams urging people to be scam aware

Citizens Advice South Hams is raising awareness of scams during their annual Scams Awareness Fortnight which runs from 13 – 26 June. The charity is seeing many different types of scams emerging to do with the cost-of-living crisis and is urging people to be extra cautious.

Some examples to look out for include:

  • Scammers pretending to be energy companies, luring people with “too good to be true” deals in order to steal their money
  • Fake sales representatives selling counterfeit shopping vouchers
  • Fraudsters sending out phishing emails pretending to offer an energy rebate or government support to steal people’s personal information

76% of people in the South West have been targeted by a scammer so far this year, new research by Citizens Advice has found.

Janie Moor, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice South Hams, said:

“A shocking number of people in the South Hams have been targeted by a scammer so far this year.

“We know scammers prey on our worries and fears, sadly the cost-of-living crisis is no exception.

“Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s important we work together to protect ourselves and each other.”

To stop more people from falling victim to these types of scams, Citizens Advice South Hams is sharing five top tips to help you guard against a potential scam:

  • It seems too good to be true – for example, scammers pretending to be energy companies to lure people into “too good to be true” deals
  • You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company or a genuine person – take a moment to step back and double-check
  • You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly
  • You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – like by an iTunes vouchers or a transfer service
  • You’ve been asked to give away personal information such as passwords, PINs or other verification codes.

If you’ve been scammed, Citizens Advice South Hams advises:

  • Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
  • Report the scam to Citizens Advice. Offline scams, like those using the telephone, post and coming to your door, can be reported to the Citizens Advice website or by calling 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on 0808 250 5050
  • Text scams can be reported to your mobile phone provider by forwarding it to 7726
  • Also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Citizens Advice South Hams are running four #BeScamAware events during Scams Awareness Fortnight, catch them on:

Monday 13 June: The Community Corner, Dartmouth, 10am to 12pm

Wednesday 15 June: The Mansion, Totnes, 10am to 12pm

Monday 20 June: The Library at The Watermark, Ivybridge, 10am to 12pm

Tuesday 21 June: The Bandstand, Kingsbridge, 10am to 12pm

 

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