Millions of people targeted by scammers says CAB

Citizens Advice says there has been a sharp increase in scams since January.

Citizens Advice says there has been a sharp increase in scams since January. - Credit: ACTION FRAUD

More than two thirds of adults (36 million) have been targeted by a scammer since January, new research by Citizens Advice has found.

While the over-55s are most likely to be targeted,, younger people are most likely to be targeted by text or messaging service, while those over-55 are most likely to be contacted via the phone.

The number of scams reported to the CAB charity is on the increase, scams via unsolicited emails are increasing and scams via telephone calls have increased also.

This rise in scams shows that financial abuse is now a part of everyday life in the UK and they are becoming more and more sophisticated, backed by a rising influence of organised crime networks seeking to exploit the pandemic.

It’s more important than ever we all do our bit to report scams when we see them to help protect ourselves and others. By learning how scammers operate, and knowing what to look out for, we can all work together to stop these fraudsters and hopefully put an end to these scams that can ruin peoples lives.

As everything begins to open up again, we can all take steps to safeguard ourselves and others against scams”

Here are the top five tips to stay scam aware:

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* If 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 – like by iTunes vouchers or a 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’re not sure about something be Scam Aware. Think twice and get advice. You can talk to your bank or credit card company immediately especially if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment

Report the scam to Citizens Advice. Offline scams such as telephone, post and doorstep, to the Citizens Advice website or by calling: 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on: 0808 250 5050

Text scams can be reported to your mobile phone provider by forwarding information to 7726. Also report the scam to Action Fraud on: 0300 123 2040.