Scams Awareness Month

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May 2014 is Scams Awareness Month.

It’s a great opportunity for consumers and campaigners to learn and share, then take that knowledge into the year round fight against scams. It’s only through spotting the signs of scams and spreading the word as wide as possible that consumers can help to stop scams. Scams are cruel crimes that damage consumer confidence and at worst blight the lives of victims and their families. Scams Awareness Month is an important part of the fight-back. It aims to give you the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.

Citizens Advice and Trading Standards Services are leading activities throughout the month of May as part of Scams Awareness Month.

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.

We’ve created a quiz to test your scam spotting skills. Take the quiz, spot the clues and share the results with your friends and family using social media.

Spot scams!

It could be a scam if:
• The call, letter, email or text has arrived unexpectedly.
• I’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about and didn’t buy a ticket.
• They are asking me to send money in advance.
• They are telling me I have to respond quickly so I don’t get time to think about it or talk to family and friends before I decide.
• They are telling me to keep it a secret.

If it seems too Good to be True it Probably is!

Stop scams!

CHECK unexpected calls, letters, and online contacts with someone you trust.

GET ADVICE the Citizens Advice consumer service 08454 04 05 06 can provide advice and pass details on to Trading Standards.

REPORT scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040

TELL a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

Only 5% of scams are reported which lets the scammers get away with it and scam someone else. People feel ashamed or embarrassed about being scammed so they put it down to experience, or recognise an attempted scam and consider it too obvious too succeed. The real shame is that keeping silent denies consumers the opportunity to be more effective in combating scammers. We want consumers to shout out loud about scams.