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July is Scams Awareness Month

Play your part – act on Scams

Scams are schemes perpetrated by criminals to con you out of your money. Unfortunately the number and range of scams is increasing and they are becoming more and more sophisticated. Scams can be initiated on-line, over the telephone, though social media or through the post and can involve pensions, investments, offers to do work or repairs, tickets for non-existent events, fraudulent official websites, harmful websites or text messages, telephone calls that impersonate calls from organisations such as banks, lottery and prize draw scams and many, many others. Scams can cause financial loss, distress and misery and, despite what many people think, can happen to anyone.

A recent scam that is becoming more prevalent is the ‘phantom goods’ scam. This is where goods are purchased on line from what looks like a reputable website but the goods never materialise

Throughout the month many organisations will be working in partnership to reduce the risk and impact of scams by raising awareness of what scams are and how to avoid them and also to encourage people to report scams so there is more likelihood of the criminals who perpetrate them being brought to justice. In addition the more that is known about what scams are currently taking place the more likely it is that they can be prevented in the future.

The national Citizens Advice website has a wealth of information about scams, including a list of common scams. These can be found at

If you are a victim of a scam or suspect that an attempt has been made to scam you please report it to Action Fraud, 0300 123 2040, You can also get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service – 03454 04 05 06 or This is also the way to report a problem to Trading Standards. And don’t forget to tell your family, friends and neighbours to help them to avoid scams.