Standards urge Burnham-On-Sea
residents to be 'scam aware'
and Highbridge residents of all ages are being urged to become 'scam
aware' amid a rising number of fraud cases.
Trading Standards bosses are raising awareness of scams during Scam
Awareness Month, explaining how to spot them and how to report them
so others dont fall for them.
its vishing (phone scams), phishing (text message scams) or
smishing (email scams), knowing how to spot a scam is the first
step to avoiding it.
is a scheme to try to steal money, personal information or data
from a person or an organisation. Other names including fraud, hoax,
swindle, cheat, or a con.
National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found a seven per cent increase
in the number of offences in England and Wales compared to last
year which is more than 660,000 reports made to the bureau - and
experts estimate that only 5-15 per cent of all scams are reported.
David Hall, Somerset County Councils Cabinet Member for Economic
Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, says: "We
need to have our wits about us at all times when it comes to scams.
Scammers often target older people so its always helpful to
have a chat with elderly friends and family about the subject."
younger people increasingly need to be aware of the scam pitfalls
that come with modern technology. This awareness month is a useful
time to remind everyone of the simple steps we can take to reduce
are becoming more and more sophisticated, said Paul Thomas,
Head of Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards. Criminals
are coming up with new and quite innovative ways to fool people
into giving up their hard cash, personal information or other data."
"Many of us fall victim to scams. Theres no shame in
that because scams can look so credible. And yet we dont like
to talk about it, even though talking about it raises awareness
of scams and is actually one of best ways of preventing these crimes."
Age UK research found that around two-fifths of older people across
the UK around five million people who believed that
theyd fallen victim to scams, didnt report it to an
official channel. Many said theyd not reported it because
they felt too embarrassed.
Seventy-five is the average age of reported scam victims. Figures
from National Trading Standards show that older people are deliberately
targeted, and fall victim most to phone and mail scams. The over
70s group sees the largest proportion of people who are recurring
victims of scams.
But its not just older people. Theres evidence that
the number of under 25s becoming victim to scams is rising; fuelled
possibly by an over-confidence in using new digital technology,
making them complacent and increasingly vulnerable.
most common scams:
Some of the most prevalent scams at the moment include:
Contactless card scams
Online shopping and auction sites
Callers or websites claiming to be a Government service,
when theyre not
Subscriptions traps or free trial scams
Council tax re-banding scams
to do if you have being scammed:
There are three things that people can do if they suspect they are
the target of a scam:
Get advice from Citizens Advice consumer service 03454 04 05 06.
Look for online consumer advice and information at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
To report a problem to Trading Standards, contact the Citizens
Advice consumer service.
2. Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040,
www.actionfraud.police.uk. Action Fraud is the UKs national
reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. If debit cards, online
banking or cheques are involved in the scam, your first step should
be to contact your bank or credit card company.
3. Tell family, friends and neighbours so that they can avoid scams.
down on unwanted phone calls:
Register your number with the Telephone Preference Service at www.tpsonline.org.uk
or 0345 070 0707. You can also register your mobile by texting 'TPS'
and their email address to 85095.
Report unsolicited marketing calls to the Information Commissioners
Office https://ico.org.uk/concerns/marketing, or 0303 123
Use a product to block telephone calls: Your phone company may
have a blocking service or help available to protect people from
nuisance calls. Call your companys customer service helpline
to find out.
potential scam letters and post:
Mail/post: People who want to report potential scam mail can write
to Royal Mail at: Freepost Scam Mail. Phone: 03456 113 413, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also report it to the Citizens
Advice consumer service.
The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is free and may help reduce
unsolicited mail www.mpsonline.org.uk or 0207 291 3310.
To opt out of deliveries from unaddressed mail distributors consumers
can register with Your Choice preference scheme Direct
Marketing Association (UK) Ltd. at email@example.com or 0207
helpful video and training module is available online