As part of a campaign to spread the word about scams, and expose the tactics of fraudsters, the local Citizens Advice has revealed these eight common scams to be on the lookout for:
Investment: victims are persuaded to invest money into fake ventures and are then unable to get their money back
Fake services: people are offered a service for a fee, only to find the service isn’t real or doesn’t exist at all – such as offers to fix computers remotely and fake invoices for advertising
Vishing: con artists cold call people pretending to be a legitimate company, asking for credit or debit card details – for example on the pretence they need to refund overpaid bills
Doorstep selling: victims are offered goods door-to- door or from the back of a van, which are likely to be counterfeit – fraudsters selling mattresses, fresh fish and cleaning products were reported to Citizens Advice
Upfront payment or fee: fraudsters ask for a payment in advance for a service or product that never materialises, such as asking for a fee to get a loan, or to pay for a training course to secure a job
Premium rate texts: victims inadvertently agree to receive premium rate texts about games or competitions, usually costing around £4 each
Counterfeit goods: people buy goods at marketplaces or online that turn out to be counterfeit or even stolen – common products include cigarettes, shoes and clothing, and tickets for events
Goods not received: people place orders for goods which don’t arrive – scams are often carried out through social media and online auction sites.
The CAB for Hambleton, Richmondshire, and Selby and District is urging people not to fall prey to these scams by following a three-step rule – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.
As part of the July campaign, chief executive of Citizens Advice Hambleton, Richmondshire, and Selby Carol Shreeve, and District said: “Scams are not a minor blight, they heap misery on people and in some cases can lead to financial ruin.
“Fraudsters use sophisticated techniques to con people and because they vary their methods, it can be tricky to spot when something is a scam. If you come across something that seems suspicious, seek advice so you don’t put yourself at risk.
“It’s vital to report scams and spread the word so we can clampdown on con artists and stop others falling into the same traps.”
For advice and information on how to report scams to Trading Standards contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06. To contact the local Citizens Advice service call Northallerton on 01609 776551, Richmond on 01748 823862 or Selby on 01757 701320.
The service can also be followed on Twitter @HambRichSelby or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CitizensAdviceHambRichSelbyandDistrict.