Scammers’ tricks of the trade will be revealed by Citizens Advice and high street bank, Barclays at a new series of public workshops in Devon and Cornwall.
The events are open to everyone and aimed at combatting the increasing menace of frauds and scams during National Scams Month.
Scammers can strike at any time, from cold-calling people with a fake investment opportunity to posting online adverts for products which don’t exist.
The two hour workshops, in Truro, Plymouth and Exeter, are free of charge and for anyone who wants to learn how to spot a scam, what to do to avoid falling prey to increasingly sophisticated fraudsters and how to report them.
People can learn the tricks scammers use to steal money, such as making contact out of the blue and piling pressure on people to agree to a deal on the spot.
David Morton of Citizens Advice Cornwall, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Barclays on this regional initiative to highlight simple actions you can take to avoid being conned.
“Our advisers across Cornwall are seeing more and more victims of increasingly sophisticated scams.
“These fraudsters often target vulnerable people, including the elderly, who are usually reluctant to seek advice from friends, relatives or the authorities, causing a lot of worry and stress in addition to financial loss.”
A recent survey by Barclays, showed only 17% of people can correctly identify basic digital safety threats such as social media messages intended to trick users into sharing personal details or downloading malware.
David Podd, Plymouth Market Leader for Barclays, said:
“We are working closely with a number of organisations, including Trading Standards and the police, to try to prevent people being caught by rogue traders and fraudsters.
“Colleagues in our branches continue to be vigilant and will often question customers if they feel they could be under duress when asking to withdraw large sums of money, especially the elderly.
“We hope these events will help to raise awareness of the different kinds of fraud and scams in existence and everyone is welcome to come along to find out more.”
The workshops, which are also backed by Trading Standards, will take place at the following Barclays branches from 10am to midday:
Truro (Lemon Street) 19 July
Exeter (Bedford Street) 20 July
Plymouth (Armada Way) 21 July
Anyone wishing to book a place should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org stating which event you’d like to attend.