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Scams Awareness Fortnight

by timpickstone on 24 June, 2020

Bury Trading Standards is supporting the Citizens Advice campaign on scams awareness which is currently running.

This year’s focus is on raising awareness of the scams that have emerged as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

This year protecting people against scams is more important than ever. The coronavirus crisis means more people are facing issues – from employment and debt, to housing and health – resulting in more people being in vulnerable situations. Added to this, the overall heightened uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic is making everyone more vulnerable and more likely to fall victim to a scam. 

Coronavirus – be aware of new scams

It is important that you are aware of the many new scams around at the moment because of coronavirus. Scams to look out for include:

* Advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices

* Emails or texts pretending to be from the government

* Emails offering life insurance against coronavirus

* People knocking on your door and asking for money for charity

If you see emails or texts about coronavirus from someone you don’t know, or from an unusual email address, don’t click on any links or buy anything.

Don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust-for example someone who knocks on the door and offers to help.

Scams in general

It might be a scam if:

* it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect

* someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly

* you suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address

* you’ve been asked to transfer money quickly

* you’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union

* you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs

* you haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed

Report a scam

If you’ve been scammed, there are organisations you should report the scam to.

Don’t feel embarrassed about reporting a scam – scammers are clever and scams can happen to anyone.

Reporting a scam helps track down and stop scammers. This prevents other people from being scammed.

To get further advice and to report a scam visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/ or report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on0808 223 1133.

You should also report scams to other organisations. This increases the chance of scammers being caught and stopped.

You should report all types of scams to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud.

Action Fraud can get the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate scams. They’ll also give you a crime reference number, which can be helpful if you need to tell your bank you’ve been scammed. 

You can report a scam to Action Fraud via their website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

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