25th June 2018Category: General
June is Scam Awareness Month. This annual campaign aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who ‘don’t miss a trick’ when it comes to scams.
The Times and Star have recently reported on the increase in phone scams (click here to read the article) and a case where a local lady was defrauded of £320,000 – you can read this story by clicking here.
Fraud can take many forms - letters, emails, telephone calls and faxes are sent out daily, in their thousands, to individuals and companies worldwide. It has become a common way for criminals to steal your money.
There are many words used to describe fraud, and all of these are crimes: scam, con, swindle, extortion, sham, double-cross, hoax, cheat, ploy, ruse, hoodwink, confidence trick. These are just a few words you might hear.
Fraudsters are opportunistic and enterprising, creative and innovative. They can quickly spot new targets and vulnerabilities.
Awareness is often the best defense.
On their website Cumbria Police have summarised some of the most common types of fraud. They outline some of the types of scam (such as Investment Scams or Romance Scams) as well as how people might try to contact you i.e. cold calling or door-to-door.
Cumbria Trading Standards has shared the tips below on how to spot scams:
Scams are a crime - report them every time.
For further advice on scams you can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. Their website has a useful “A-Z of fraud” which helps to clarify which fraud you may have been affected by, visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z_of_fraud
Get Safe Online provides practical advice and guidance to help you stay safe when online.
If you are a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.
If you think that you have been the victim of a fraud and it is a non-emergency situation report this to the Cumbria Constabulary on 101 and to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or by visiting their website http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.