I am supporting the ‘Scam Awareness Month’ campaign ‘Don’t miss a trick’ run by Citizens Advice.
‘Scam Awareness Month’ takes place throughout June and is a yearly campaign to raise awareness of scams and fraud.
The National Audit Office estimated that £10 billion was lost to scams and fraud in 2016 and the Crime in England and Wales Survey found that they are one of the most frequent occurring crimes.
This year’s campaign, ‘Don’t miss a trick’, has come about after Citizens Advice found that almost three-quarters of people have been targeted by scammers in the last two years.
‘Scam Awareness Month’ is focussing on reducing the underreporting and stigma, which have been identified as two of the biggest issues in tackling scams and fraud.
Under-reporting is a serious issue when it comes to dealing with scams:
• ONS statistics suggest that less than one-fifth of incidents of fraud either come to the attention of the police or are reported to Action Fraud. Not only does this mean that victims may not be supported, but we know very little about the full scale of the problem.
• Reporting helps to inform the work of advice or enforcement agencies like Citizens Advice and the Trading Standards services; this in turn helps to prevent future scams by helping the authorities to shut down criminal operations and spread awareness to the public about new and emerging scams.
All too often we hear of incidents where people are scammed by cold-callers or online and that is why I am supporting Citizens Advice in their campaign to raise awareness of scams and fraud.
The stigma around reporting fraud means that often people do not report them to the authorities meaning that others will get caught out. People need to know that by reporting a scam they are protecting others and making sure those committing crimes face justice. People need to know that there is help and support when they are defrauded, be it Citizens Advice or the police.
Scammers have become more sophisticated over the years and have found new ways to break the law. We need to ensure that our police forces have the resources they need to tackle this growing problem – especially when it comes to online fraud – so that people are safe from scams.
More information about Citizens Advice campaign can be found at: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/spotting-a-scam/ and those wishing to report a scam should do so to Action Fraud at: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/