North East Fife MSP, Roderick Campbell, has urged Fifers to be aware of scams as the Citizens Advice Scotland and the Trading Standards Institute enter Scams Awareness Month.
Scams Awareness Month is about the fight-back against scammers and gives consumers the information, skills and confidence to spot and stop scams and is focusing on a different type scam every week beginning from online scams to doorstep scams.
Commenting on Scams Awareness Month Mr Campbell said: “There are scams for just about everyone and every situation and many people suffer through them in silence. This is why I am delighted to back the work being undertaken during Scams Awareness Month.
“A scam is incredibly cruel crime and I am sure that the campaign will help consumers in spotting and stopping scams.”
There are thousands of different scams. The most common are fake lotteries and prize draws, bogus health cures, dodgy investment schemes - the so-called ‘boiler room’ scams, pyramid selling and phishing, but they also include dating which last year cost victims £24.5 million.
Last year the tricksters cost UK consumers billions, with online shopping and auction scams the most common fraud reported worth £63.6 million to the fraudsters, but scams come in all sorts of forms by post, phone, email, online or on the doorstep.
Many people suffer scams in silence – just five per cent are reported yet every year yet more than three million people in the UK fall victim to scams losing hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds. Around half of people in the UK - 48 per cent - have been targeted by a scam.