Don't be caught out by scammers

Cold calls, high-pressure sales tactics and automated voicemails asking for details are just some of the tricks scammers are using to rob people of their hard-earned cash.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 16th July 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:45 pm
Scam Awareness Month is make people realise how they can become victims and what to do to prevent it.
Scam Awareness Month is make people realise how they can become victims and what to do to prevent it.

Grangemouth Citizens Advice Bureau and Trading Standards are working together to expose tactics used by scammers.

On July 4, the organisations launched Scams Awareness Month to help stop people falling prey to scams by following three-steps – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.

Fraud victims pay a heavy price, losing billions of pounds every year. Scams targeting people by phone or post cost people in the UK an estimated UK £5 billion each year alone.

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Scams come in a variety of guises and we see new ones emerging all the 
time. However, there are common hallmarks to every scam and we’re keen to show local people what to look out for so they don’t fall prey to a fraudster.

Reporting suspicious offers and incidents of fraud is vital to getting scams closed down.

If you think you’ve been contacted by a con artist or have been the victim of a scam, seek advice and report it to the authorities.

In one case a client contacted the consumer helpline service after seeing an advert for property investment training which claimed it would give you the skills and knowledge to find the perfect properties for investment.

The client booked the course and paid in full, up front to the value of £3000.

It then transpired there were only limited courses being run in the South of England – despite the trader claiming the course could be done at home.

The client tried to cancel but the company stated it couldn’t refund funds...but would offer a goodwill payment of £850.

The client has since found multiple other people online who have paid money but the course doesn’t exist and all the customers get is a short eBook that contains poor information already available on its website.

In another case, a client reported receiving a cold call from an investment company offering them an opportunity to invest their pension in Cape Verde property.

They had a salesman visit her at home with further information on the project, which was sold as risk free. The client signed multiple documents but is now not sure what they were – as they didn’t receive a copy.

One of them, however, was a mandate to withdraw a £30,000 pension from their current provider.

The CAB assisted in contacting the current pension pot provider to cancel any mandate that another company may have over the money.