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19 July 2016

Cumbria Trading Standards backs campaign to expose fraudsters

Doorstep Crime

 

Cumbria County Council Trading Standards is supporting Scams Awareness Month - a national campaign to help people avoid falling prey to scams.

 

The campaign, run nationally by Trading Standards and Citizens Advice, urges people to take three steps to avoid the risk of being ripped off - get advice, report them and tell others about it.

 

Cold calls, high-pressure sales tactics and automated voicemails asking for people’s details are just some of the tricks scammers are using to rob people of their hard-earned money, says Cumbria Trading Standards.

 

Nationally, fraud victims pay a heavy price, losing billions of pounds every year. Scams targeting people by phone or post alone cost people in the UK an estimated £5 billion each year.

 

Informing the authorities and warning others is the only sure way of stopping scams, but people can be hesitant to even tell their friends and family.

 

Councillor Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “Scams come in a variety of guises and we see new ones emerging all the time. However, there are common hallmarks to every scam and we’re keen to raise awareness so people know what to look out for and don’t fall prey to a fraudster.

 

“Reporting suspicious offers and incidents of fraud is vital to getting scams closed down. If you think you’ve been contacted by a con artist or have been the victim of scam, seek advice and report it to the authorities.”

 

John Greenbank, Cumbria Trading Standards Manager, said: “Scams are more common than most people realise and every day we hear from people who have lost money to a fraudster. Some scams are one-offs that persuade you to part with a lump sum, while others go after your personal details so they can access your money or copy your identity.

 

“We’re asking people to help us tackle scams in Cumbria by getting to know the common signs, warning others, and reporting incidents to us so we can investigate.”

 

How to spot a scam

Scams are schemes to con you out of your money. They can arrive by post, phone call, text message or email or a scammer may turn up at your home.

It could be a scam if:

  • The call, letter, email or text has come out of the blue
  • You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about and didn’t buy a ticket
  • You are asked to send money in advance
  • You are told you have to respond quickly so it doesn’t give you time to think
  • You are told to keep it a secret.

What to do if you have been scammed

 

Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through your local Citizens Advice or through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

 

Follow Cumbria Trading Standards on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/cumbriatsor join us on Facebook for up to date information on reports and all the latest scams atwww.facebook.com/cumbriats?

 

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Cumbria County Council Trading Standards is supporting Scams Awareness Month � a national campaign to help people avoid falling prey to scams.