Scams Awareness Month starts right now.
June is the start of national Scams Awareness Month, and Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards is raising awareness of scams, how to spot them and report them.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has reported a massive 7% increase in fraud offences in England and Wales compared to 2017.
To put that into figures that’s more than 660,000 reports made to the intelligence bureau.
5 to 15 report Scams
It is a worrying enough that a 7% increase has taken place, however, it is thought only 5 to 15% of all cases are reported.
So the true number of fraud cases is likely to be considerably higher.
Head of Trading Standards, Paul Thomas Said:
Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated,
Criminals are coming up with new and quite innovative ways to fool people into giving up their hard cash, personal information or other data.
Many of us could, and many of us do fall victim to scams. There’s no shame in that because scams can look so credible. And yet we don’t like to talk about it, even though talking about it raises awareness of scams, and is actually one of best ways of preventing these crimes.
Older People More vulnerable
Age UK has found that two-fifths of all older people across the UK, around 5 million people, have believed to of fallen victim to scams and didn’t report it.
Many choosing not to report it due to feeling embarrassed.
According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics) 75 is the average age of people who are reported to be the victims of a scam.
Digital technology, bucks trend for young victims
You could be thinking that youngsters are least likely to be conned by scammers due to their knowledge of digital technology.
However, it is this arrogance that fraudsters and scam artists target, with fraud in the under 25s on the rise.
Meanwhile it is actually the 40 to 60s age group that most likely to be affected by scams.
This is down to two reasons, the first due to them being the most likely age group to report a scam.
Secondly it is because the fraudsters and scam artists know that this age group has access to both assets and money.
Spot a scam this Scams Awareness Month
A scam is essentially a scheme aimed at trying to steal money, personal information or data from a person or an organisation.
Other terms for a scam can include fraud, hoax, swindle, cheat or con.
Some of the major scams that are current in operation in the UK include:
- Contactless card scams
- Online shopping and auction sites
- Callers or websites claiming to be a Government service, when they’re not
- Pension scams
- Investment scams
- Subscription traps or free trial scams
- Computer scams
- Ticket scams
- Council tax re-banding scams
- Advertising scams
- Vishing, Phising, and Smishing – phone, text message and e-mail scams.
Other types do also happen.
People that can help
If you suspect you have been a victim of a sam there are things that you can do:
- Get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service 03454 04 05 06. Look online for consumer advice and information. Report issues to Trading Standards.
- Report Scams: If you suspect you’ve been part of a hoax report it to Action Scam on 0300 123 2040, www.actionfraud.police.uk.
- Tell family, friends and neighbours so that that they can avoid being victims of scams.