Lincolnshire Trading Standards have revealed the most common scams in the county - and their top tips to avoid them.
As part of Scam Awareness month throughout June, Trading Standards are joining up with partner agencies, including Citizen’s Advice and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to educate people about known scams and the signs to look out for.
Principal Trading Standards officer Emma Milligan said: “There are a number of different types of scams and it is important that residents of Lincolnshire are aware of them.
“While there are a lot of different types, we tend to see many that come up time and time again. Much of the time we see these scams targeted against the more vulnerable members of our families and communities so we all have to keep an eye open and watch out for the tell-tale signs.”
Trading Standards advise the top scams to look out for are:
• Free trials - make sure you read the small print as some have cancellation deadlines after which you’ll be charged hefty fees.
• Computer repairs - Scammers fake critical errors on your computer, getting you to enter codes or passwords and gaining access to your information.
• Insurance claims - always look into making a claim yourself if you’ve been involved in an accident rather than responding to a cold call.
• Prize draws - be wary of these, especially if you haven’t entered any! People have lost thousands of pounds by being persuaded to enter fake competitions.
Emma Milligan added: “Taking the time to talk about scams is really important. People can be embarrassed or reluctant to talk about the issue, but getting advice from a friend, family member or the Citizen’s Advice team, or reporting a suspected scam to Action Fraud can all make a real difference. We really want to encourage everyone to share the #scamaware message whenever they can.”
Lincolnshire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Stuart Tweedale added: “There are two simple messages we are trying to get across to people of Lincolnshire to make them Scam Aware. Never talk money on the phone and never deal with door-to-door sales and bogus trades people who arrive unannounced and knock at your door.
“If you follow those simple rules you will go a long way to protecting yourself from the people who carry out these crimes. Yes we are promoting Scam Awareness Month, but we need to be vigilant and spread the message throughout the year.”
If you suspect you have been targeted by a scam and want advice please call Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506 or Lincolnshire Police on 101. Follow the work of Lincolnshire Trading Standards including #scamaware on Twitter @lincsts