MORAY AWARENESS OF the growing problem of scammers attempting to con people out of their cash is being highlighted over the next month.
Trading Standards at Moray Council is taking part in Scam Awareness Month which begins on Friday.
The campaign is being organised by Citizens Advice and each week the council’s trading standards staff will be focusing on different types of scams with the aim of giving consumers advice on how to avoid becoming a victim and what to do if they think they have been targeted.
Just this week insideMoray’s editor was one of many who received calls from one common scam – cold calling from what appears to be a Birmingham number and asking the potential victim about the “minor road accident they had in the last three years”.
The caller claims to have details on unclaimed compensation for the ‘accident’ – in reality, they are calling at random and attempting to obtain private details including bank accounts.
Trading Standards in Moray say that in the opening stage of the month-long awareness campaign they will concentrate on telephone scams, saying these generally fall into three categories – attempts to make investments in shares, claims you are owned money for PPI or overpaid council tax, or computer scams often claiming an issue has been detected with your computer.
Trading standards advises consumers never to contract with a cold caller and never provide personal details over the phone.
If you are concerned that there is a problem with your bank account, call your bank on the normal number using a different phone line if possible. If you require financial advice, speak to a registered financial adviser. If you believe there is a problem with your computer, contact a local IT repair business.
Moray Council’s trading standards manager Peter Adamson said: “We would urge everyone to look out for their friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to scams.
“Do you have an elderly relative who receives frequent phone calls from cold callers? Are you aware of someone who makes money transfers to unknown individuals or signs up to unnecessary insurance policies or buys large amounts of health or medical related goods?”
Families are also advised to consider purchasing a call blocking system from a reputable trader to prevent an elderly relative from being the victim of a scam call.
Anyone who suspects that they, or someone they know, have been the victim of a scam should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 for further advice.