Scam Awareness Fortnight
As a Friends Against Scams (FAS) Organisation, Buckinghamshire Council is supporting Scam Awareness Fortnight, which takes place from the 14 to 27 June, raising awareness about scams to protect our residents from becoming victims.
Citizens Advice found in June 2020 that in the first three months of the first lockdown over a third of British adults (36%) had been the target of a scam, evidence that scammers are exploiting the pressures that the pandemic has put people under, including a significant increase in the number of scams relating to financial services reported in the past year. These can include fake 'Get Rich Quick' investment schemes or someone pretending to be from a bank to get a potential victim to transfer money or personal details.
Scams come in many different forms. It could be emails or texts pretending to be from the government or charities asking for cash donations on the doorstep. People even use fake identities on dating websites and apps to lure victims into thinking they are in a genuine relationship only to scam them out of money further down the line.
Councillor Arif Hussain, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Safety, says: “Our aim as an FAS organisation is to make sure that our residents know how to spot a scam, what to do when they identify a scam, who to report it to, and more importantly how to get help and support if they have fallen victim of a scam.
“Anyone can become a victim of this type of crime and this is why it’s absolutely vital that we all know how to spot a scam so that we can stamp them out. During the awareness week I urge residents to spend some time looking at the Citizens Advice website where you’ll find a wealth of information and advice. You could also take part in a short and interactive online scam awareness session, which can be done in the comfort of your own home, all you need to do is visit the Friends Against Scams website.
“I would also like to encourage residents to keep a watchful eye on your friends, family, neighbours and anyone else who you think might be more susceptible to being targeted. Check out the tips below and please help us spread the word.”
Spotting a scam
Here are some of the main warning signs of scams to look out for:
- it seems too good to be true – like an email saying you’ve won a competition you do not remember entering
- someone you do not know contacts you unexpectedly
- you’re being urged to respond quickly so you do not get time to think about it or talk to family and friends
- you've been asked to pay for something urgently or in an unusual way – for example by bank transfer or gift vouchers
- you’ve been asked to give away personal information
If you, or someone you know, is a victim of a scam, there are several organisations who can help you:
- to report a scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
- to get advice or report a trader to Trading Standards, contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133
- if you (or someone you know) is at imminent risk from losing money to a scam, contact police on 999. If it is a non-emergency, ring the police on 101
To help you feel more empowered on your doorstep and to say no to unwanted cold calling traders, contact Bucks & Surrey Trading Standards for a ‘no cold calling’ window/ door sticker:
- email [email protected]
- call 0808 223 113