Could it be a scam? Campaign aims to help protect Lincolnshire residents from fraudsters

Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have joined the Scams Awareness Fortnight campaign.

Scam.
Scam.

The national campaign – organised by Citizens Advice – this year focuses on scams that have cropped up during the coronavirus pandemic.

During Scams Awareness Fortnight, from June to June 28, Trading Standards will be sharing lots of advice on how residents can help protect themselves and their loved ones from scammers.

Andrew Turner, Scams Awareness and Prevention Officer from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “Just as many of us have had to adapt to a ‘new normal’ during the lockdown, so too have fraudsters looking to take advantage of people. Unscrupulous criminals are trying to play on fears about COVID-19 to steal personal details, money, or to sell dodgy protective equipment.

“One of the best ways to protect yourself, is to ask yourself ‘could it be a scam?’.

“Keep that in the back of your mind; don’t be panicked or rushed into decisions, and take a moment to verify, or seek advice from a source you can trust.

“If you do fall victim to a scam, never be too embarrassed to report it. Reports help us track down the criminals and protect others.”

People can be especially vulnerable at times like this when they’re worried about their families, health, money and work.

It might take longer than usual to realise something isn’t right.

To help residents identify a scam, look out for the following warning signs:

• It seems too good to be true – like an email saying you’ve won a competition you don’t remember entering

• Someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly

• You’re being urged to respond quickly – not giving you time to verify anything or talk to family and friends

• You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example by bank transfer or gift vouchers

• You’ve been asked for personal information, including bank details or social media account details.

Andrew added: “Unfortunately, the fight against scams never stops, and you can always find the latest advice on the Trading Standards social media or the Citizens Advice website.”

You can find Lincolnshire Trading Standards on Facebook and Twitter.

For further advice and guidance, or to report a scam, visit the Citizens Advice website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk and search for ‘scams’, or call their consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.