Be Scam Aware – don’t let scammers steal your money

Scam Aware Citizen Advice

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under great financial pressure. Our local Citizens Advice West Berkshire (CAWB) office has seen recent cases where clients have lost thousands of pounds to investment scams. Other scammers have impersonated energy companies or local authorities, offering fake energy rebates.

Citizens Advice own research showed that in the first five months of 2021 more than two thirds of adults (36 million people) had been targeted by a scam. Scammers are incredibly clever so don’t feel ashamed if you fall for a scam. Penny fell for a scam a few years ago when a friend of hers facebook account was hacked and Penny was asked to receive a bank transfer on her behalf. Please tell family and friends if it happens and report it straight away as this will help other people be more aware.

“With many people facing increased financial pressures, there are clear signs that scammers are taking advantage of this to trick local people out of their money,” says Lynn Collie, Research and Campaigns Coordinator at Citizens Advice West Berkshire. “Above all, it’s important to report scams and speak about them to family and friends.”

“Anyone can fall victim to a scam. People of all ages and backgrounds get scammed,” agrees Cllr Thomas Marino on behalf of West Berkshire Council’s shared service Public Protection Partnership. “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. Be on your guard – if you are not sure about something, take your time and get advice.”

Be Scam Aware – don’t let scammers steal your money

To help stop more people being fleeced, Citizens Advice West Berkshire and West Berkshire Council Public Protection Partnership are sharing the following tips on how to spot scams and what to do if you have been scammed.

It might be a scam if:

  • it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect
  • you’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly or in an unusual way – like by Amazon vouchers or a money transfer service
  • you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs

If you’ve been scammed:

  • Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
  • If you have been scammed on a computer change relevant log-in details and check for viruses:
  • Call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or visit citizensadvice.org.uk/scamsadvice We’ll pass the details of the scam to the local Trading Standards service and can offer further advice
  • If you are a West Berkshire resident, you can call Citizens Advice West Berkshire on 01635 516605 and leave a message.
  • Report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk They’ll also issue a crime reference number.
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