Posted on: 7 July 2023
Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service is with Trading Standards services across the country, the police and adult safeguarding, to protect the public – particularly the elderly and vulnerable – from being scammed.
This week is the National Scams Awareness Campaign run by Citizens Advice, another of our key partners, who help us to inform and warn the public, and support victims of scams.
People in the UK lost £1.2 billion to fraud last year, equivalent to £2,300 every minute.
Many scams originate from fake texts, calls and emails and to help protect the public the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the City of London Police set up the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS).
This enables the public to forward suspicious emails to an automated system that scans them for malicious links.
Since its launch in April 2020, almost 21 million reports have been made to the service and 235,000 malicious website links have been removed from the internet. If you receive a suspicious email, you can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report a suspicious phone call to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
To report a suspicious text forward it free to 7726.
As of May this year, 54,000 text message scams have been removed as a result of suspicious texts forwarded to this service.
If you have been a victim of a scam, we advise that you contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
The Citizens Advice scams advisers will let you know what to do next, and give you support on the issues you might be facing.
Scams lead officer at Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service, Janet Quinn, said: “Fraudsters can try to con you in a number of ways; providing fake investment opportunities, impersonating your bank or contacting you about items ordered online and not delivered to name a few. These are all ploys to try and trick you into parting with your money.
“This could involve someone contacting you unexpectedly by telephone, email or text, or offering false information through online advertising.
“No one is immune from scams regardless of age and background. Scams are a key priority area for Trading Standards and we continue to work hard alongside our partners to safeguard the public and support those who have been affected.
“Advice and guidance on how to avoid falling victim to a scam can be found on our website and we encourage everyone to sign up to receive our consumer newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we publish our latest scams information.”