05 July 2017
Staying safe online
Fighting back in Scams Awareness Month
Citizens Advice and local Trading Standards services are leading a scam awareness campaign this month – with backing from landlords like Hanover.
With more than five million scamming victims in the UK every year, annual losses are estimated at between £5-£10 billion. Sadly, older people are often targeted.
At Popple Well Springs in Tadcaster, residents are officially ‘Friends Against Scams’, after taking part in a session organised with help from National Trading Standards. We are also promoting some simple tips from the Which? website to help Hanover residents to keep themselves safe from fraud.
Never trade on the doorstep
- Dodgy traders, hard luck stories and bogus officials all aim to make you part with your money
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
- Never trust letters claiming that you have won a prize, are due an inheritance, or can make large sums on an investment. They will all scam you for money upfront
Be suspicious of unknown texts or phone calls
- Bogus police officers or bank staff may ask for your personal details, or even your bank card. They will only pretend to hang up while you ring another number to check on them
- Never give remote access to your computer to someone claiming to be from Microsoft. They may install a virus and charge you to remove it
- Ignore missed phone calls you do not recognise. They may be premium rate numbers. You will be charged 50 pence or more if you call back
Take extra care online
- Ignore emails asking for personal details, offering to put money in your account (you would be working for criminals), begging for money, or offering pills. Never click on an email link you did not request – however official the email looks
- When booking holidays online, be sure you are not on a fake website. Check the company is on the ABTA register
- Scammers use personal relationships to steal from trusting people. So, be wary on dating sites, or when approached on social media
Protect your pension pot
- Never take cold calls about your pension – even if the person claims to be from an official advice scheme – and beware unregulated investments offering ‘guaranteed returns’
- Only trust advisers registered with the FCA and never let a friend talk you into an investment, without checking it out first
For advice on scams, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit their website. To report scams contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
We also provide a range of support on our website for staying safe online:
- Hanover residents can apply for funding to receive training in internet usage with We Are Digital
- Barclays Digital Wings can also assist residents via their section on staying safe online
Please see also our Staying safe online page for further information.
The following videos from Barclays' digital campaign may be of interest:
Age UK also have a very useful section on their website about staying safe online.
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) scams team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. A scam relating to fake Royal Mail delivery cards has recently come to light - please see further details here.