More than 1 in 3 people (39%) in the East Midlands have been the target of a scam since lockdown came into effect across the country, finds Citizens Advice Ashfield.
1 in 2 people (58%) are worried someone they know will fall foul of a con. And the large majority of people (98%) reported they felt wary of coronavirus scams.
Citizens Advice Ashfield are encouraging people to talk about their experiences and look out for others they think could be at risk.
Kathryn Stacey, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Ashfield said:
“Our data shows that the last few months have been very difficult for a lot of people across the East Midlands. And despite this, we’ve seen appalling evidence of opportunistic scammers taking advantage of people’s worries and concerns.
“1 in 3 of East Midlands locals have been targeted by a scam since lockdown began, showing we all need to be on high alert.
“It’s really important we all do our bit and report anything that looks like a con when we see it. By learning how scammers operate, and helping each other understand what to look out for, we can all work together to stop fraudsters in their tracks.“
To help stop more people being fleeced by these types of scams, Citizens Advice Ashfield is sharing the following tips on how to spot them.
If you’re worried you, or someone you know, could be getting scammed take the following steps:
Look into installing a call blocker to help combat telephone scams
Talk to your or their bank immediately if there is any suspicious activity or transactions from their account or credit cards
Report the scam to Citizens Advice who will give you advice on what to do next and report the scam to Trading Standards
Report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts Citizens Advice may be able to help
You can also take the following steps to safeguard yourself and others:
Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name 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 call
Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams