Citizens Advice 1066 is calling on residents in Hastings & St Leonards to expose scams and help stop more people from falling prey to clever cons that fleece them of thousands of pounds.
July is National Scam Awareness month and Citizens Advice and Trading Standards have joined forces with the aim of making communities e aware of some of the scams that are running and to encourage people to report them so that the relevant agencies.
They say Scams Awareness Month and will be highlighting how scams continue to flourish when people stay silent.
Figures show that less than 5% of victims report scams to the authorities, and Citizens Advice 1066 is encouraging residents to report suspicious activities, get advice if they think they’ve been conned, and to warn others to help stop scams from spreading.
Scams come in every form, from doorstep double glazing sales to online investment offers.
People may be targeted with “vishing” calls where a fraudster impersonates their bank to collect their bank details, or by bogus companies offering computer services. Online scams include dodgy job adverts and offers for goods and services, while mail scams may ask victims to pay a fee in order to claim their winnings from a prize draw they haven’t entered.
The campaign asks people to keep two things in mind when they receive an unsolicited approach or when they are looking for goods or services: don’t be rushed and don’t be hushed. People should take their time to make a decision and get facts together before parting with their money or personal information, and speak out when they think they’ve spotted a scam.
Citizens Advice 1066 said: “Scams thrive on silence. Fraudsters know that victims are often too ashamed to share what happened to them, meaning that scams can continue to spread unchecked. We’re urging people to lift the lid on scams and start talking about suspicious email, junk mail, online ads or door-to-door sellers operating in their area.
“Scams are run by professional con artists and it can be hard to know what to look out for. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re contacted out of the blue be on your guard. Never give your bank details out unless you are certain you know who the person is, and you can trust them.”
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