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Sunday, August 2, 2015

People should expose scams, says county

Denbighshire County Council is calling on residents to expose scams and help stop more people from falling prey to clever cons that fleece them of thousands of pounds.

The Council is supporting the national Scams Awareness Month campaign which highlights how scams continue to flourish when people stay silent.

Figures show that less than 5% of victims across the country report scams to the authorities, and Denbighshire County Council is encouraging residents to report suspicious activities, get advice if they think they’ve been conned, and to warn others to help stop scams from spreading.

Scams come in every form, from doorstep double glazing sales to online investment offers.

People may be targeted with “vishing” calls where a fraudster impersonates their bank to collect their bank details, or by bogus companies offering computer services.

Online scams include dodgy job adverts and offers for goods and services, while mail scams may ask victims to pay a fee in order to claim their winnings from a prize draw they haven’t entered.

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Public Protection, said: “The Scams Awareness Month campaign is asking people to keep two things in mind when they receive an unsolicited approach or when they are looking for goods or services: don’t be rushed and don’t be hushed.

"People should take their time to make a decision and get their facts together before parting with their money or personal information, and speak out when they think they’ve spotted a scam."

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 always 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

* For consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers. They can also pass on details to trading standards.

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