2019’s Scams Awareness Campaign
2019’s Scams Awareness Campaign takes place from 10th to 23rd June. The aim of the campaign is to raise more awareness and knowledge of scams and alert consumers to ‘stop, report and talk’ when they see (or think they see) a scam.
What is a scam?
A scam is a scheme to try to steal money, personal information or data from a person or organisation. Other names for a scam include fraud, hoax, con, swindle and cheat.
- The National Audit Office (NAO) recently estimated that individuals lose £10 billion a year due to fraud.
- The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated there were 3.5 million incidents of fraud for the year ending September 2018.
- According to Citizens Advice Research, almost three-quarters (72%) of people have been targeted by scammers in the last 2 years, either via mail, phone calls, text messages, emails, online, or face-to-face.
- 37% of people have been targeted 5 times of more.
- Data from a recent CSEW suggests that only around 13% of fraud incidents are reported by the victim, either to the police or Action Fraud.
- £4,500 was found to be the average financial loss for those aged between 59-75 years old according to research by the National Trading Standards Scams Team.
- Those people aged between 41-60 are often more vulnerable to investment fraud, phishing and other banking scams, property scams and pension liberation scams.
- 75 is the average age of reported scam victims.
What you can do to tackle scams:
- Get advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506, or on 03454 040505 for a Welsh-speaking advisor. You can also get advice and information online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sa19.
- Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.
- If debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam, your first step should be to contact your bank or credit card company. If the scam is a pension transfer, you need to contact the provider immediately, along with the Pensions Advisory Service.
- Tell family, friends and neighbours so they can avoid scams.
Contact information for help, support and advice:
- https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/scams/ – Citizens Advice offers free advice and helps people to find a way forward. You can also contact the consumer service for free consumer advice, including advice on scams at 0345 040506.
- www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk – Run by the National Trading Standards scams team, the campaign aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.
- www.pensionwise.gov.uk – Pension Wise is a free impartial service for people to discuss pension options. Book an appointment online or phone 0800 138 3944.
- www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk – The Pension Advisory Service: 0300 123 1047 offers impartial information and guidance on scams.
- www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pension-scams.aspx – The Pensions Regulator has handy downloads for consumers to help them spot pension scams.
- www.fca.org.uk – The Financial Conduct Authority has a register of authorised financial firms at www.fca.org.uk/register and a list of firms which have been implicated in scams. The FCA website also has advice to help investors avoid falling victim to scammers.
- www.getsafeonline.org – An organisation aimed at informing consumers to protect themselves from online scams with factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.
- www.cyberaware.gov.uk – The government has launched a new website aimed at helping the public and small businesses to spot and avoid fraud, by raising awareness and promoting digital security for online users.
- www.financialfraudaction.org.uk – Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), which represents the financial services industry on fraud prevention, has resources for consumers, retailers and scam investigators.
- https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk – Led by FFA UK and backed by the government, Take Five is a national awareness campaign providing advice and tips for consumers on how to protect themselves from financial fraud.
- www.cifas.org.uk – Cifas is a not-for-profit company working to protect businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals from financial crime.
Help for people who have been scammed:
- www.thinkjessica.com – Think Jessica is a charity protecting elderly people from scams which come through the postal system and by telephone.
- www.victimsupport.org.uk – Victim support give free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family and anyone else affected across England and Wales. Call 0808 1689 111.