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Get smart about scams


scams awarenessThe amount of money stolen by criminals through bank transfer scams has risen by 40% in a year and is running at more than £1m a day, according to official UK data. Scammers stole £616m from UK bank customers during the first six months of 2019, according to banking body UK Finance. Of this total, £207.5m was lost to scams in which people were duped into authorising a payment to an account controlled by a criminal. This was up 40% on the £148.2m figure for the same period in 2018, although UK Finance said the year-on-year numbers were not directly comparable.

Scams are getting more and more sophisticated, particularly when it comes to targeting you online and through mobile devices. So it is vital to learn how to recognise a scam, protect yourself and what to do if you’re a victim or have been targeted. Knowing what to be on the lookout for when it comes to scams is one of the best ways to protect yourself.

The yearly Citizens Advice Scams Awareness campaign shines a spotlight on the risks of scams to educate consumers so that they are alert and identify a scam when they are targeted. This year’s campaign took place over two weeks from the 10th-23rd June.

Scams awareness eventTo ensure local residents are confident in their response to a scam attack the Citizens Advice Westminster’s policy and campaigns team held an event at Church Street Library to raise awareness amongst local people about the most common scams. The event was a joint effort with Westminster Trading Standards Office and their consumer adviser, Bethan Featherby, an expert on consumer rights and scams, joined our  team to talk  about local consumer issues. Attendees were keen to understand how to avoid telephone scams, cyber scams and identity theft and how to buy goods and services safely online.

You can help us spread the message throughout the year that scams are crimes that can happen to anyone and we don’t need to be embarrassed if we fall victim to them.

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