Citizens Advice in Dorset are warning people to be scam aware with two out of three people in the South West targeted by scammers so far in 2021.
Since January, 69% of people in the South West region have been targeted by a scammer, new research by Citizens Advice in Dorset has found.
Fraudsters tried to trick residents in a range of ways, but the biggest scam faced by locals is focused around delivery and parcels, with 55% of people in the area saying they’d been contacted about a scam of this kind. Many people in the South West region say they’re worried that they or a loved one could fall victim to a scam, with 66% saying they’re concerned this might happen.
To encourage people to report scams, share their experiences and look out for others, Citizens Advice in Dorset and Trading Standards have launched their annual Scams Awareness campaign which runs from the 14th – 27th June 2021.
Rovarn Wickremasinghe, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice Bridport, said: “A shocking number of people in rural Dorset have been targeted by a scammer so far this year. For example, we've seen a number of instances where people are being sent scam text messages purportedly from Royal Mail or Parcelforce asking people to click on a link to pay an underpaid delivery charge for a parcel.”
“As life begins to unlock, it’s so important we all do our bit and report anything that looks like a con when we see it. By learning how scammers operate, and helping each other understand what to look out for, we can all work together to stop fraudsters in their tracks.“
To help stop more people being fleeced by these types of scams, Citizens Advice in Dorset and Trading Standards are sharing the following tips on how to spot them.
It might be a scam if:
● it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect ● you suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address ● you’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly or in an unusual way – like by iTunes vouchers or a transfer service ● you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs ● you haven't had written confirmation of what's been agreed
If you’ve been scammed, Citizens Advice in Dorset advise:
● talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment ● report offline scams, like telephone, post and doorstep, to Citizens Advice online or by calling 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on 0808 250 5050 ● report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 ● contact the Dorset Adviceline on 0800 144 8848 or visit your local office website.