Scams Awareness Month 2017

Guard against scams and help West Sussex become #scamaware


Information

About

About

Every year millions of people across the UK fall prey to scammers, and West Sussex residents are no exception.

July is Scams Awareness Month, a national campaign set up to raise awareness and help reduce the impact of scams through the provision of advice and support.

An estimated 3.6 million scams and fraud cases have occurred this year so far, a rise of 8%.

The total sum of money lost to scams and fraud each year is estimated to be £10.9 billion on average.

This year's theme, 'Play your part, act on scams', urges us all to recognise, report and talk about the issues.

Throughout the month we will focus on four susceptible groups in particular:

  • Young people (18-24) - more than half of young people are unlikely to report scams according to Citizens Advice.
  • 'Life established' (aged from 40-60) - historically targeted by scams relating to pensions, dating and property.
  • Over 70s - commonly targeted by phone and mail scams with more repeat victims than any other age group.
  • The socially isolated - don't have the same access to support and advice, meaning victims' welfare is of particular concern. 

Scams Awareness Month asks us all to trust our gut instinct when receiving an unexpected or suspicious communication and be sure to obtain advice before taking any action following a potential scam attempt.

Search #scamaware and follow our local campaign's updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Anyone concerned about scams can get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

You can learn more about scams and report fraud and cybercrime here.

Report an incident or concern direct to West Sussex Trading Standards Service online here.

Download this year's promotional resources and lend your support to Scams Awareness Month 2017.

Events in West Sussex

Events in West Sussex

In support of Scams Awareness Month, the West Sussex Trading Standards Team will be attending a number of events across the county to provide information on scams and tips to minimise the risk of losing money to fraudsters.

The team will be handing out leaflets, postcards, cold caller door stickers and other materials supporting the campaign.

Buy With Confidence directories will also be available while stocks last. 

Local representatives from Citizens Advice will also be on hand at the first two events:

  • Wednesday 5 July @ Tesco, Shripney Road, Bognor Regis, PO22 9ND (10am-1pm)
  • Tuesday 11 July @ Sainsbury's, Rustington Retail Park, New Road, BN16 3RT (10am-1pm)
  • Tuesday 18 July @ Tesco, Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill, RH15 9QT (10am-12 noon)
  • Saturday 22 July @ Worthing Fire Station Open Day, Ardsheal Road, Broadwater, BN14 7RN (10am-4pm)
  • Thursday 27 July @ Holmbush Centre, Shoreham, BN43 6JN (10am-12 noon)

Telephone scams

Telephone scams

What is it:

Telephone scams involve fraudsters cold calling you with the intention of catching you ‘off guard’, winning your trust and taking your money.

The fraudster may even pose as a trusted official such as a police officer or bank security staff member to try and obtain personal or financial information, to persuade you to transfer money, or hand over your bank card or cash.

What to look out for:

If you were not expecting the call, always be aware that it could be a scam.

How to prevent:

  • Never give anyone your:

-      Full password, online banking codes or PIN number

-      Personal details unless you are sure of who you are speaking to

  • Remember that under no circumstances would the police or your bank ask you to provide these details.
  • Don’t feel pressured into making a quick decision over the telephone.
  • If you suspect the call is fraudulent, seek advice from family, friends or Citizens Advice (on 03454 040506) before taking any action.
  • Check the caller’s details with the organisation they claim to be from using a different phone.
  • Consider installing a call blocking device to filter out unwanted calls.
  • Register with the Telephone Preference Service online or call 0345 070 0707.

Beat nuisance calls

Trading Standards are offering to install a call blocking device free of charge to help stop scam and nuisance calls.

For more information and to apply for a call blocker contact Trading Standards online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/callblocker or contact us via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

Citizens Advice are also able to provide advice on scam and nuisance calls.

 

Online scams

Online scams

What is it:

Online scams include fake websites and emails trying to con you out of your money

Fake websites and emails can include false links or attachments which often ask for personal details or will automatically place a ‘virus’ on your computer.

What to look out for:

Incorrect spelling or poor grammar can be an indication that the email, web address or pop up message is not genuine.

Sometimes the websites or emails will pretend to be from genuine and respected companies, mimicking their style but are not genuine.

How to prevent:

  • Always download the latest software and app updates - they often contain vital security updates.
  • Choose, use and protect your passwords carefully, and use a different password for every account.
  • Use three random words to help create a strong password.
  • Don’t open suspicious emails, attachments, or pop up messages, especially ones with unusual spelling.
  • Always go to a bank’s official website to get information, don’t follow links within emails. 

Click here to learn more about staying safe online.

Mail scams

Mail scams

What is it:

Mail scams can include fake lotteries and prize draws, get rich quick schemes and investment scams.

The letters are sent with the intention of deceiving people into sending money by making false promises and misleading claims.

What to look out for:

Colourful envelopes with phrases such as ‘Lottery Win’, ‘You have won a prize’ or ‘Do not ignore’.

Bogus psychics and clairvoyants claiming to have seen into your future and asking for money to disclose what it is.

How to prevent:

  • Never respond to suspicious looking mail.
  • Remember – offers that look too good to be true are likely to be scams.
  • Never send money to a company in order to claim a prize or winnings.
  • Don’t disclose personal information to people or companies you do not know.
  • If you get a lot of mail, get a family member or trusted friend to help you sort through it.
  • Register with the Mailing Preference Service online or call 0845 703 4599.

Doorstep scams

Doorstep scams

What is it:

Doorstep callers often target elderly and isolated residents and aim to persuade them to have home improvement work done at a low price.

Unnecessary work is often carried out with the victim intimidated into paying more than they were originally quoted, and far more than the job is worth.

What to look out for:

Bogus traders will often pressure victims into buying products or services they do not need.

Often rogue traders will pretend to be associated with a reputable organisation such as a local council.

How to prevent:

  • Don’t buy goods or services on the door step.
  • Don’t employ doorstep traders to carry out home improvement work.
  • Ask a trusted friend or family member for advice on reputable traders and consider employing a Buy with Confidence trader.
  • Display a ‘No Cold Calling’ sticker outside your door.
  • Always report suspicious activity.
  • Don't keep large sums of money at home.

If someone comes to your door, observe this code:

-      Stop: Are you expecting anybody? Do they have an appointment?

-      Chain: Secure the door bar or chain before opening the door.

-      Check: Ask for and double check the caller's ID.

Click here to find out more and request a 'No Cold Calling' door sticker.

Community events in West Sussex

Saturday 22 July @ Worthing Fire Station Open Day, Ardsheal Road, Broadwater, BN14 7RN from 10am – 4pm.

Thursday 27 July @ Holmbush Centre, Shoreham, BN43 6JN from 10am – 12noon.

  • Address
    Worthing Fire Station
    Ardsheal Road
    Broadwater
    BN14 7RN

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