Get Scam Aware with Cleveland PCC
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger is urging the public to learn how to spot costly scams to prevent them being ripped off.
The PCC has joined up with Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS) to deliver Friends Against Scams training sessions. The workshops, developed by National Trading Standards Scams Team, allow the public to learn more about different types of scams in a fun and interactive way.
Tips on how to beat old and new scams can now be found on the dedicated page on the PCC website www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/Friends-Against-Scams. There are also details of forthcoming courses, including home delivered sessions for the elderly and housebound.
The PCC said: “Every year consumers lose billions of pounds to fraudsters who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams.
“The best way to in combat these crimes is prevention. People of all ages, backgrounds and income levels can become targets, which is why it’s so important people know how to spot the signs of scams and where to turn if they fall victim.”
The next VCAS Friends Against Scams awareness sessions will take place on 25th April, 13th June and 19th September – to attend, please email email@example.com.
Top four scams to look out for
Scammers who operate by phone offer exaggerated – or even fake – prizes, products or services, such as loans, charitable causes or free trial offers. They don’t want to give you any time to consider their pitch and may be talking quickly. They just want to hear you say ‘yes’.
What to do:
- Law states telemarketers must tell you what they’re calling for – if they don’t give you this information, hang up.
- Do not make a decision immediately.
- Keep your banking details to yourself – even if they ask you to ‘confirm’ this information.
Door-to-door scams usually involve selling goods or services of poor quality – or that may never arrive at all. Some scammers conduct surveys to get your personal details or may offer you goods or services you don’t need (eg. unnecessary roofing work or patio replacement).
What to do:
- If someone knocks at the door, always ask for their identification. If you are not satisfied with their ID, do not let them into your home.
- Don’t immediately agree to an offer. Take time to find out about the business or charity before taking further action.
- If you don’t want any unwanted callers, you can contact us for a ‘No Cold Callers’ sticker.
Watch out for ‘phishing’ – emails from scammers purporting to be from a legitimate company requiring personal details. Websites, advertisements and emails are made to look very sophisticated. The most common online scams are for concert tickets, holiday and residential apartments, dating and vehicle sales.
What to do:
- Delete any emails from unknown senders, especially those with an attachment, as it may be a virus.
- Avoid sellers on online market places who ask you to pay via unusual methods.
- Never give financial or personal details to anyone unless you know and trust who you are giving them to.
Many mass mailing scams will trick you into parting with money or providing personal details in the belief you will win a cash prize. It can only take a single response to a scammer for a person to be added to their ‘Sucker’s List’ and be inundated with further scam mail.
What to do:
- Genuine lotteries will not ask you to pay a fee to collect your winnings.
- Never send money abroad or to someone you don’t know or trust.
- Examine all terms and conditions very carefully.