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July is Scams Awareness Month

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Scams Awareness Month
July 1 – July 31

Scams Awareness Month is all about creating a self-supporting network of confident, alert, consumers.

People ready, willing and able to spot scams. Scams Awareness Month is an important part of the fight-back. It aims to give consumers the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.

It’s reported that one in ten people have fallen victim to financial scams losing hundreds, thousands and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of pounds. And the estimated loss each year by UK consumers to mass-marketed scams via phone and post is a huge £5 billion!

There are many different types of scams and to see an extended list visit the following websites:
•citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/scams
•http://actionfraud.police.uk
•met.police.uk/fraudalert

The best way to be protected against a scam is to be able to spot the signs, below are some regular signs:
•The call, letter, email or text has arrived
•You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about and didn’t buy a ticket.
•They’re asking you to send money in advance.
•You’re being urged to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it.
•They’re telling you to keep it a secret.

If you suspect you’re the target of a scam there are three things you can do:

Get advice from Citizens Advice consumer service 03454 04 05 06. Get online consumer advice 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 traders.

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 first step should be to contact your bank or credit card company.)

Tell your family, friends, neighbours about the scam you have experienced so that they can avoid it and protect themselves.

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