There are two main types of scams:
- A mass marketing scam is a misleading or deceptive business practice where the person is ‘cold-called’ (unsolicited or uninvited contact) by letter, email, phone or advertisement and false promises are made to obtain money.
- A doorstep scam is where victims are cold-called at their homes and persuaded to part with money.
It’s easier to spot a scam if you know what to look for. Be careful if:
- an opportunity comes out of the blue or from someone you don’t know
- something sounds out of the ordinary – such as winning the lottery, or being invited to invest in an ‘amazing’ scheme which must be kept secret
- you are asked to pay for something in advance – especially by bank transfer
- you are asked for personal information – such as bank details, computer passwords or PIN numbers
- you are pressured into buying something or making a decision quickly – a trustworthy company will be happy to wait
- you are asked to phone an expensive number – these usually start with 070, 084, 087, 090, 091 or 098
Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service is at the forefront of tackling financial abuse through their activities in identifying, visiting and supporting victims of scams. They are also actively working in partnership with the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team to deliver key education to help promote the continued health and wellbeing of those potentially at risk.