CONMEN who try to trick people out of significant amounts of cash are being targeted as part of Scams Awareness Month.
Trading Standards and Licensing staff in Wigan borough are working with Citizens Advice to prevent people being ripped -off.
Citizens Advice estimates that up to four million people in England and Wales could be scammed each year, with many cases unreported. Officially, fraud offences rose by 25 per cent in 2013 compared to the previous year, and over 207,000 cases were reported to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre.
New analysis has also revealed that people are just as likely to be conned over the phone and text messages as they are through emails and websites. Over a third of scams reported were over the phone.
People are advised to avoid using non-secure websites that ask for financial details – this can be spotted by checking for the padlock or “https” next to the web address. They are also being warned never give out bank details or send money unless they are certain they can trust the person they have been contacted by.
Alan Blundell, assistant director of Regulation Services at Wigan Council said: “It’s time for us to give scammers the shove. By telling us about a scam we can stop the con artists in their tracks and make sure no one else falls foul of their tricks.
“This month we will be telling people about what to look out for, what kind of scams there are, and of the advice available if you think you might have been a victim.”
If you think you have been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or get advice and report scams to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or online at www.adviceguide.org.uk and www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sam14.