Andy is backing scams awareness fortnight

Scams Awareness Fortnight will take place over two weeks, from the 15-28 June. The campaign will be focusing on raising awareness of the scams that have emerged as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Research by Citizens Advice has shown that over half of people are worried someone they know will fall foul to a scam, and the vast majority have become more wary themselves during the epidemic. 

Official advice from the Government says that scams are taking many forms, including illicit pension transfers that syphon money into criminal accounts, bogus high-return investment opportunities, and the sale of worthless health supplements and of safety equipment that is never delivered. 

Any scams should be reported immediately to report@phishing.gov.uk so the National Cyber Security Centre can test the website they link to and remove it if it's a scam. 

Speaking about the issue, Andy said:

It’s really important we all do our bit and report anything that looks like a con when we see it. By learning how scammers operate, and helping each other understand what to look out for, we can all work together to stop fraudsters in their tracks.

I would really encourage people who are concerned or have come across a scam themselves to read the guidance on the Citizens Advice website. There are some great resources for businesses and households to prepare and report for any suspicious activity.

To help stop more people being fleeced by these types of scams, Citizens Advice and Trading Standards are sharing the following tips on how to spot them.

If you’re worried you, or someone you know, could be getting scammed take the following steps:

  • Look into installing a call blocker to help combat telephone scams
  • Talk to your or their bank immediately if there is any suspicious activity or transactions from their account or credit cards
  • Report the scam to Citizens Advice who will give you advice on what to do next and report the scam to Trading Standards
  • Report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
  • If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts Citizens Advice may be able to help

You can also take the following steps to safeguard yourself and others:

  • Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise
  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
  • Never send money to someone you’ve never met
  • Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you
  • Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away and if you feel pressured say “no”
  • Suspect a scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call
  • Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scam

For more information please visit the following sites:

Consumers - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/get-help-with-online-scams

Business - www.business.hsbc.uk/en-gb/protecting-your-business/five-tips-for-protecting-your-business-against-cyber-attacks

Elderly - www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/home-care/scams-and-older-people