The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today launched its 2010 Scams Awareness campaign by highlighting how scammers are targeting unsuspecting people, using increasingly sophisticated and manipulative tactics. Apparently 73 per cent of adults have received an email scam (I would have thought it was more considering the amount of email effluence I receive daily!) in the last year, of which around 50% have been duped out of over £50.
The campaign calls on consumers to forward scam mailings they have received or dodgy website URLs to email address – firstname.lastname@example.org. This information will help them pinpoint gangs and gather vital evidence to help in fighting this growing crime.
Here are some tips to help avoid being scammed:
1. Stop, think and be sceptical. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.
2.Do not be rushed into sending off money to someone you do not know, however plausible they might sound and even where an approach is personalised.
3. Ask yourself how likely it is that you have been especially chosen for this offer – thousands of other people will probably have received the same offer.
4. If you are unsure of an offer, speak to family or friends, check solid details like phone number etc actually exist and seek advice from Consumer Direct before giving out any banking or credit card details.