Fraud, scams & safety – advice for all
Scams hit the headlines almost every day with British consumers estimated to lose around £3.5 billion every year – the equivalent of £70 for every adult in the country. However, it is feared this figure is much, much higher as only 5% of scams victims report it to the authorities.
Scams are schemes to cheat people out of their money. They come in a variety of ways; by post, phone, email, online and sometimes by a knock on the door.
Put simply, scams are designed to cheat someone out of their money or obtain personal details for illegal purposes. Another name for scams is mass marketing fraud because the techniques used are designed to target a large number of people through the mail, telephones and email systems.
If you learn how to recognise a scam or fraud, then you will learn how to protect yourself, your family and friends.
Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Spot it – Discuss it – Report it!
Contacts and reporting
Trading Standards can be contacted through the Manchester Contact Centre on tele: 0161 234 5001
- For more advice visit their website at www.manchester.gov.uk
Manchester City Council Trading Standards have been working with the Citizens Advice Bureau in an effort to warn people about the hundreds of scams being touted to potential victims every day of the week.
Citizens Advice consumer helpline 03454 04 05 06 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) can provide advice and pass details onto Trading Standards
- For more information visit their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre; they provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and cyber crime.
- To report a scam tele Action fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report via their website at www.actionfraud.police.uk
National Trading Standards Scams Team has launched a ‘friends against scams campaign’.
- For more information visit their website at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk
Greater Manchester Police have advice on their website at www.gmp.police.uk
- Download their ‘Little book of Big scams’ from their website at www.gmp.police.uk
For further information and advice on doorstep scams and crimes visit:
Gas and fire safety
Find out more about staying safe from:
- Visit the Age Concern website for advice at www.ageuk.org.uk/investment-scams
Find out more about what to do and what rights you have at:
Phone scams and nuisance calls
For more information and advice on nuisance calls visit:
- Age UK website at www.ageuk.org.uk/phone-scams or www.ageuk.org.uk/cold-calls-and-texts
- Greater Manchester Police website at www.gmp.police.uk
For information about an unknown number visit:
- the website who-called.co.uk and check the number quickly and easily.
If you have received a scam call or text, or if you have returned the call or text and you now realise it is a scam, you can report it on the website. You can also spread the word to protect others and add new numbers to help others avoid the harassment.
Free Call Blocking Devices: National Training Standards (NTS)
The Department of Culture Media & Sport provided funding to the NTS Scams Team for call blockers to tackle the issue of nuisance calls. The current focus is on protection of consumers with dementia.
The initial phase of the project started in April 2017, when local authorities were asked to identify people living in their communities with dementia that would benefit from a call blocker.
The second phase went live in November 2017, making free call blockers available to any person living with dementia who is receiving scam or nuisance calls.
To get a FREE call-blocking device YES should be answered to the following questions:
- Do you or the person you are applying for receive nuisance and scam calls?
- Does the person who would like the call blocker have dementia?
- If yes to the above then apply on their website at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/callblocker
Friends Against Scams
Anyone can be involved in Friends Against Scams for example as a ‘Friend’, SCAM champion or a Friends Against Scams organisation.
- Find out more or access the online training on their website at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk
We all get junk mail but some of it is actually scam mail – the post is an easy way for scammers to contact their victims from anywhere in the world and remain anonymous. Mail scams come in many guises – fake lottery wins, prize draws and associated catalogues, or clairvoyants demanding money to predict good or prevent bad luck. Mail scams are designed to trick their victims into parting with money, financial or personal details.
Talk about it to someone you trust, or call Age UK Advice on tele 0800 169 65 65
- For further information and advice visit their website at www.ageuk.org.uk/postal-scams