Being at home no protection from scammers
MORE than a third of British adults have been the target of a scam since lockdown began, new research by Citizens Advice reveals.
Those who can least afford it are often most at risk, including: people with a disability or long term illness; those at an increased risk of coronavirus or who have been shielding; and people who have lost personal income due to the virus. Typical scams have involved offers of bogus testing kits, vaccinations and government refunds.
Ian Byworth, CEO of Citizens Advice Mendip, said: “Being at home doesn’t protect us from being targeted by scammers. We can all take steps to look out for ourselves and anyone who might be at risk of falling victim to a scam.”
Ian suggests some key ways that people can protect themselves against scams:
• Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from an organisation you recognise.
• If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
• Never send money to someone you’ve never met.
• Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you.
• Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away and if you feel pressured say “no”.
• Suspect a scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to make a call.
• Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams.
Citizens Advice is urging anyone who thinks they may have been targeted by or has seen an online scam to report it to its Scams Action service, either online (citizensadvice.org.uk/ScamsAction) or on 0808 250 5050.
People can access free, independent and confidential advice from Citizens Advice in Mendip. Following government advice, their offices are currently closed for face to face sessions, but visit their website www.citizensadvicemendip.org.uk for details of how to contact them online, by email and by phone.