SCAMS are cruel crimes that damage consumer confidence and, at worst, blight the lives of victims and their families.
Citizens Advice and Trading Standards services are leading activities throughout this month (May) as part of the fight-back against these scams.
Our aim is to give consumers the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.
Whether you’re an individual consumer looking to protect yourself and family from scams or an organization representing consumers, your efforts during Scams Awareness Month are vital because they will help spread the message that scams can be tackled if people learn how to spot the signs
How to spot a scam – all these are signs that it might be a scam:
n A call, letter, e-mail or text has come out of the blue.
n You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about.
n You didn’t buy a ticket – so you can’t win it!
n They are asking you to send money in advance.
n They are saying you have to respond quickly, so you don’t get time to think about it or ask family and friends before you decide.
n They are telling you to keep it a secret.
n They seem to be offering you something for nothing.
Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
For a full list of advice, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Gazette (Thursday, May 15).