Scam warnings from Consumer Direct3 million people falling victim to scams

03 February 2009

Consumer scams

Scams awareness month kicked off this week and Consumer Direct is advising people how to tell if friends and relatives are falling victim to scams.

Every year an estimated 3 million people fall victim to scams, losing an average of £850 each.

There are many types of con including bogus foreign lotteries, fake prize draws, fake psychics and pyramid schemes.

Be alert to scams

Although anyone can become a victim, research shows older people are most vulnerable to scammers.

Someone regularly falling for scams may:

• Receive a lot of junk mail
• Receive cheap-looking goods such as jewellery and health products
• Become secretive when asked about their finances
• Receive regular cold calls

They can have a devastating effect on peoples' lives – victims can lose their life savings or at the very least suffer from ill health.

Scam victims

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam then contact Consumer Direct for advice or by calling 08454 04 05 06.

Michele Shambrook, operations manager for Consumer Direct said: 'The scammers are becoming increasingly clever and sophisticated and it's all too easy to get taken in.

'If you think a friend or relative may be falling victim, ask questions, offer reassurance and advice, but try not to criticise as this may do more harm than good.'

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