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scam awareness weeks

I may be a bit late posting this information from Citizen's Advice Enfield, but let's face it, the scammers are at it 24/7/365!

Week 1

Dear All,

We hope that you are all coping with the changes as the government eases the lockdown restrictions during these uncertain times

At Citizens Advice Enfield we have been promoting our annual Scam Awareness weeks campaign working together with Trading standards from 15th June – 28th June. We are encouraging people to talk about their experiences of scams and to look out for others they think could be at risk.  We would appreciate if you would promote this and prominently display the posters  with all your contacts to raise awareness about scams and how it impacts on individuals and families.

Take a look and do our scam quiz?

https://scamsawareness20.typeform.com/to/eXLqtx

Empowering the public to protect themselves and others from scams is more important than ever this year due to the current coronavirus crisis. 

Scammers seek to exploit vulnerability, and coronavirus has put more people into difficult situations, with many facing issues with employment, debt, housing and health. The overall heightened anxiety caused by the pandemic is also making everyone more vulnerable and more likely to fall victim to a scam.

There are also increased opportunities for scammers to take advantage of people. Due to social distancing measures there are currently more people online and using technology, more people at home during the day, and more people applying for government support schemes as they are unable to work.

1 in 3 people have been contacted by a scammer since the coronavirus outbreak began?     

Our data shows that scammers have been exploiting these circumstances, with scams including:

  • adverts of face masks or medical equipment at high prices
  • emails or texts pretending to be from the government
  • emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
  • people knocking at your door and asking for money for fake charities

As a result, this year’s Scams Awareness campaign will be focusing on the scams that have emerged as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. 

If someone thinks they’ve been scammed, there are steps they can take to protect themselves from things getting worse. If they take action immediately, they might even be able to recover some of the money they lost. With data suggesting that as few as 1 in 7 fraud incidents are reported by the victim, either to the police or Action Fraud, it makes it hard for enforcement to effectively tackle scams across the country. While there is a recognition that police resources are stretched, the National Crime Agency have recently announced that they are prioritising and reviewing fraud reports to Action Fraud. The more people that report scams to them, the stronger action they can take.

Anyone can be vulnerable to scams, and yet we still don’t talk enough about them. Those impacted by scams often still feel a sense of shame about falling victim to them. This stigma can contribute to under-reporting, and stifles conversations around protecting yourself and others.

 

We want to get rid of the stigma around scams and encourage people to talk about their experiences and work together to stop scams. 

Find attached some posters and leaflets we would appreciate if you could distribute by email.

We want the public to know that they can report scams by sharing their stories and raising the awareness of scams to safeguard themselves and others.

Please share our message on social media and with your partners.

Last week we concentrated on raising the awareness of scams and the impact.

This week we will be sending further information about how to report a scam.

Facts about scams

  • The National Audit Office (NAO) estimated that individuals lose £10 billion a year due to online fraud.
  • The Crime Survey for England and Wales(CSEW) estimated there were 3.8 million incidents of fraud for the year ending June 2019.
  • Citizens Advice research [ 0.89 mb]from 2017 found that:
    • Almost three-quarters (72%) of people have been targeted by scammers in the last 2 years, either via mail, phone calls, text messages, emails, online, and face-to-face.
    • Over a third (37%) of people have been targeted 5 times or more.
    • Almost half (45%) of people have taken no action to protect themselves against scams in the last 12 months, and two-thirds (65%) have taken no action to help protect friends or family.
  • 7 out of 10 (68%) of people targeted by a scam do not tell anyone about it.
  • The CSEW suggeststhat only 1 in 7 of incidents of fraud either come to the attention of the police or are reported by the victim to Action Fraud.

 

Week 2

Dear All,

 

This week we are concentrating on spreading the word about how to spot a scam and sharing information on how to report a scam and with more information on scam resources

Resources to help teach consumers about scams

  • Citizens Advice scams advice pages. Citizens Advice offers free advice and helps people to find a way forward. You can also contact the consumer service for free consumer advice, including advice on scams at 0808 223 1133 (or 0808 223 1144 to contact a Welsh-speaking adviser).
  • Contact Citizens Advice to get help with Online Scams

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/get-help-with-online-scams/

  • Friends Against Scams. Run by the National Trading Standards scams team, the campaign aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities and businesses to ’Take a Stand Against Scams’.
  • The Pensions Regulator has handy downloads for consumers to help them spot pension scams.
  • The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial money advice, including advice about scams.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority has a register of authorised financial firms at www.fca.org.uk/register and a list of firms which have been implicated in scams. The FCA website also has advice to help investors avoid falling victim to scammers and a Scam Smart game showing examples of investment scams. 
  • www.cyberaware.gov.uk is a website launched by the government aimed at helping the public and small businesses to spot and avoid fraud, by raising awareness and promoting digital security for online users.
  • Get Safe Online are an organisation aimed at informing consumers to protect themselves from online scams with factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.
  • Led by UK Finance and backed by the government, Take Five is a national awareness campaign providing advice and tips for consumers on how to protect themselves from financial fraud.

Help for people who have been scammed

  • Think Jessica is a charity that raises awareness of scams that target elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes, including by telephone, the postal system and on the doorstep. 
  •  Victim Support gives free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected across England and Wales. Call 0808 1689 111.
  • Age UK has local branches around the UK providing help and support for older people. Call the national line for free on 0800 678 1602.

Scams advice

There are four important things that people can do if they suspect they’re the target of a scam:

  1. If payment or banking details are involved in the scam the person’s first step should be to contact their bank or credit card company. If the scam is a pension transfer, they need to contact the provider immediately, along with the Pensions Advisory Service.
  2. Get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, or on 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh-speaking adviser. You can also get advice and information online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sa20. The Citizens Advice consumer service can also report problems to Trading Standards for you. Trading Standards are responsible for protecting consumers and the community against rogue and unfair traders.
  1. Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.

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