February is scams awareness month, a month dedicated by trading standards officers and the consumer direct service to highlight and provide consumers with the skills and knowledge necessary to recognise and resist scams.
Trading standards warn that bogus letters, faxes and emails are becoming more and more convincing and look professionally produced.
They will often ask for financial details or personal information and can appear to come from well known companies or even high street banks, but most in there experience, promotions of this kind, however they are distributed, are a dishonest attempt to trap you into parting with your money and they advise that you consider the following questions when you receive an offer that seems too good to be true:
• Was the offer unsolicited?
• How can I have won a competition that I haven’t entered?
• Did the offer come from overseas?
• Do I have to respond at once, so as not to “miss out” – what’s the rush?
• Do I have to make a purchase or send money to win a prize?
• Do I have to give my bank or credit card details?
• Am I asked to keep it confidential?
In the experience of staff at consumer direct or trading standards if an offer appears too good to be true – then it probably is!
If you thinks you have been a victim of a scam can call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or visit there website at http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/watch_out/scams/ for more information