Scams are crimes, help stop them
Scams Awareness Month has enjoyed a really successful first week with lots of coverage in the national media.
- BBC Radio 1 and The Mirror ran a story of two students from Luton who were ripped off by an offer of fake work (1 May)
- The Sun published an article about debt-help scams (1 May)
- BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 both talked about training scams (1 May)
- Sky News interviewed a CAB client who bought a car online, which never arrived (1 May).
But it doesn’t stop there. Lots of our bureaux and partners are finding different ways to raise awareness of scams. For example, having a dedicated kiosk desk for advice and information, getting local MPs involved in the campaign, appearing on local radio stations or even just putting up Scams Awareness Month posters.
So far we have sent out almost 40,000 Scams Awareness Month packs to our partners. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit our resources for partners page.
If you want more information on how to spot and stop a scam, visit our information for consumers page or Adviceguide.
What are scams?
Scams are schemes to cheat people out of their money. Other names for scam include fraud, hoax, con or swindle. Scams come in a variety of ways: post, phone, email, online, sometimes with a knock on the door.
There are hundreds of scams: fake lotteries and prize draws, bogus health cures, dodgy investment schemes, pyramid selling, phishing - to name just a few. New scams appear as more people become aware of them and as criminals try to keep one step ahead.
Every year more than three million people in the UK fall victim to scams losing hundreds and even thousands of pounds. It is estimated that nearly half of people in the UK (48 per cent) have been targeted by a scam and that £3.5 billion is lost to scams every year.
The Citizens Advice report Desperate times, desperate consumers highlighted disturbing examples of people striving to improve their lives who were left worse off because of scams and dubious commercial practices.