July is scam awareness month

It’s often perceived that older people and the vulnerable are most at risk of falling victim to scams, however anyone can be duped by tricksters.

Throughout July people are being urged to spread the word about scams to help raise awareness and create a self-supporting network of confident, alert, consumers.

“Scams can have a potentially devastating impact,” says Gav Barang, BT’s social telephony and inclusion product manager.

“Swindlers know that victims are often too ashamed to talk about their experience, and the scam continues, affecting more people.”

Figures show that millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers each year but less than five per cent of victims report scams to the authorities.

Citizens Advice and Trading Standards Services are leading a range of activities during Scam Awareness Month to help people stop before being rushed into hasty decisions by scammers.

Top tips

The organisation has issued the following tips to help people avoid being tricked by con artists:

  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • If you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it.
  • You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
  • If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
  • Contacted out of the blue? Be suspicious.
  • Don’t be rushed – resist pressure to make a decision straight away.
  • Never send money to someone you have never met.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • Your bank will never attend your home to collect cash, your pin, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud.
  • Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN or your online banking password.
  • Your bank will never ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
  • Suspect a phone scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call your bank.
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
  • Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams. 

What to do if you have been scammed

Get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service 08454 04 05 06 (03454 04 05 05 for a Welsh-speaking adviser) or online help at www.adviceguide.org.uk

Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

If debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam contact your bank or credit card company.

Go to our recent article Who to contact if you think you have been scammed

Tell family, friends, neighbours so that they can avoid scams.

Head over to BT’s website for more helpful information at www.bt.com/scams


We're here to help

Go to our Help and support section for tips and advice on making this site easier to use, using our services, understanding impairments, and contacting us. To get in touch right now, use the Email, Chat or BSL links.