Be scam aware

Scams can come in many different guises. It could be someone cold calling at your house, unsolicited telephone calls, mail shots, text messages, emails and the internet. Scammers are always looking for new ways to cash in on unsuspecting victims. If it's too good to be true, then it's probably a scam. Once a person has supplied their information, their details are often compiled onto mailing lists which are sold on to other scammers. This means they are more likely to be targeted. If you suspect a scam you should contact the Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 to report it and receive advice.

Top tips to avoid being scammed

  • If it sounds too good to be true- then it's a scam
  • Never deal with any cold callers either at the door or on the phone.
  • Never reply to flyers. Speak to a relative, friend, neighbour or your carer before you do anything
  • Never send money to anyone who says you've won a lottery or a big prize
  • Never give out your bank account details or other personal information to people you don't know
  • Never ever disclose your bank card pin number to anyone- even if they say they are from your bank
  • Never ring a premium rate number- they usually start 090 and cost a huge amount.
  • Never sign a credit agreement without first taking a quote away and sleeping on it. People often sign finance agreements for cars without realising just how much they have to repay.
  • Never send money off in response to bogus psychic mailings or for so called miracle health cures

Doorstep sellers

Rogue traders often operate by cold calling - making uninvited calls to your home trying to sell you goods or services, or doing the same over the phone. Never deal with cold callers who visit or phone.

Doorstep selling scams include:

  • Offers to tarmac/ block pave driveways
  • Security alarms
  • Gardening work
  • Insulation - including spray foam
  • Mobility products, for example, reclining chairs
  • All roofing work
  • Roof and wall coatings purporting to insulate the home
  • Double glazing - starting at inflated prices and then giving discounts
  • Fascias, soffits and guttering

Common phone and postal scams include:

  • Lottery scams
  • Prize draws and scratch cards
  • Cold telephone calls regarding a fault with your internet/virus on your computer
  • Free trial offers for beauty, slimming products - they will take money off your bank card
  • Offers to reduce your Council Tax
  • Banking scams - coercing you to give your bank card details, pin number etc.
  • Bogus holidays
  • Catalogues purporting to enter you into a prize draw if you order goods from them
  • Free memberships
  • Bogus charity clothing collections
  • Insider racing and betting syndicates
  • Home working schemes
  • Clairvoyant and miracle health cures
  • Mock auctions
  • Fake Debt recovery
  • Cold calling for stocks, shares, investments

Talk Community Directory offers more advice and information about doorstep selling and rogue traders.