This month is Scams Awareness Month and I want to help support my constituents so that they can avoid organised scammers.
Top tips for avoiding scams:
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
It you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it
You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize
If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up
Contacted out of the blue? – be suspicious
Don’t be rushed – resist pressure to make a decision straight away
Never send money to someone you have never met
Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance
Your bank will never attend your home to collect cash, your pin, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud
Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN or your online banking password
Your bank will never ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons
Suspect a phone scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call your bank
Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams
What to do if you have been scammed:
Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to help stop it happening to others.
Often you can't get your money back if you've been scammed, especially if you've handed over cash. If you've paid for goods or services by credit card you have more protection and if you used a debit card you may be able to ask your bank for a chargeback.
Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 (for advice in Welsh phone 03454 04 05 05) or online advice at www.adviceguide.org.uk
For more advice contact Bolton Citizen’s Advice Bureau on 0808 801 0011or visit www.boltoncab.co.uk