The Office of Fair Trading is raising awareness of fraudulent mass-marketed mailings in the UK with its annual Scams Awareness Month campaign throughout February.
Nearly half of the UK adult population has been targeted by a scam at some time and every year over three million adults – one in 15 people – fall victim to fraud involving deceptive unsolicited mailings, phone calls, or emails. Designed to con victims out of their cash they lose UK consumers a staggering £3.5 billion every year.
The top five most reported scams are:
1) Advance fee and money transfer
2) Prize draws and sweepstakes
4) Foreign lotteries
5) Career opportunities.
County Councillor Phillip Murphy said: “Every day, people are at risk from unscrupulous fraudsters who want to con them out of their cash and it is important that consumers recognise the increasingly sophisticated methods of scammers. If something looks too good to be true it normally is.”
People receiving scam mailings can forward them to Trading Standards, Monmouthshire County Council, County Hall, Cwmbran, NP44 2XH.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, call
Consumer Direct for clear, practical advice on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/scams