Don’t Fall Victim to Scammers

£10 billion is lost annually in the UK due to fraud, which is why Credit Unions of Wales is supporting the Scams Awareness Campaign (14-27 June) to highlight the financial and emotional impact scams have on individuals.

Designed to raise awareness of different types of scams, how to recognise and report them to the appropriate agencies, the campaign is also highlighting how more than two thirds of UK adults (36 million) have been targeted by a scammer since January 2021.

Spam emails, ‘suspicious activity’ alerts from your bank, news stories about data breaches – unfortunately, scams and fraud seem to have become part of our daily lives.

Reports of scams are increasing sharply, and opportunistic scammers continue to prey on even the savviest of consumers.

Research by Citizens Advice has revealed that while over 55s are most likely to be targeted, those 34 and under are almost five times more likely to fall victim to a scam than their older counterparts.

Younger people were most likely to be targeted by text or messaging service (61%), while those over 55 were most likely to be targeted over the phone (73%).

Of all those targeted by a scammer:
• 54% were about fake deliveries or parcels
• 41% were by someone pretending to be from the government
• 12% were by someone offering a fake investment or get rich quick scheme

Data from Citizens Advice Consumer Service confirms reports of scams are increasing sharply. Comparing the first five months of 2021 with the same period in 2020:
• The number of scams reported to the charity has more than doubled (123%)
• Scams via unsolicited emails are up seven-fold (667%), and scams via telephone calls have increased 60%.

Tips on how to spot a scammer include:
• It seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect.
• You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address.
• You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly or in an unusual way, such as via iTunes vouchers or a money transfer service.
• You’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs.
• You haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed.

If you have concerns about being scammed Citizen’s Advice recommends:
• Talking to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment.
• Reporting the scam to Citizens Advice online or by calling 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either or on 0808 250 5050.
• Text scams can be reported to your mobile phone provider by forwarding it to 7726.
• Report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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