Con artists better find another line of work because one organisation is arming residents with knowledge to beat them.
Scammers will not make money if no one falls for their deceptions and the new Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) campaign seeks to make as many people as possible aware of the dangers of scams and how to defeat them.
Part of Scams Awareness Month, which is being run across Scotland by the CAB and Trading Standards, the local initiative covers all types of cons, from telephone tricksters to online chancers.
The most common scams include fake computer repairs, phone calls about fake bills and fake lottery and prize draws.
Members of the public can access the advice available at the Information Area in Forth Valley Royal Hospital Infirmary, Larbert, as well as the Grangemouth CAB office.
Bill Palombo, manager of Grangemouth and Bo’ness CAB, said: “Scams are very common, and can affect absolutely anyone. They can cost people hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
“It’s heart-breaking to see local people conned out of their money – especially when scams can so often be avoided. Scams aren’t just a minor inconvenience to people. Aside from the financial loss, they can also cause distress and loss of confidence.
“Citizens Advice research has found that seven out of ten people targeted by a scam do not tell anyone about it, so it is clear that stigma is one of the biggest barriers to stopping scammers.
“The good news is we’ve seen a 24 per cent increase over the last year in people reporting scams to the CAB network. We need to keep that going and encourage people to talk even more about scams.
“So our message to people is that we all need to be constantly vigilant and watch out for scams, and there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from them.
“We also want people to know help is available, and that if you are affected by a scam you should talk about it to your friends and family, and report it to us or to Trading Standards or the police so we can try and warn other people about it.”
Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/sam2018 for more information.