Turning the tables on the Scammers

At my regular surgeries held right across my Bridgend constituency, I meet with many constituents who raise a variety of issues but time and time again, I hear stories from those constituents who have been victims of the latest scams albeit online, telephone, postal or doorstep scams. No-one is immune to scams but sadly, many elderly people become the victims of scams and swindles used by criminals to steal money. At the start of Scams Awareness Month, I fully support Age Cymru’s campaign to raise awareness among older people of the types of scams and swindles used by criminals and would encourage everyone to read Age Cymru’s top tips to avoid the scammers.

Age Cymru research has revealed that more than 2,500 scams were reported to trading standards departments in Wales between February 2012 and February 2013. However the figure could be the tip of the iceberg as the Office of Fair Trading believes only 5% of scams are reported, meaning that 50,000 scams could have been committed.

Some of Age Cymru’s key tips to mitigate falling victim to scammers include never buy anything instantly on the doorstep even though you may feel pressurised to part with your money; never divulge to strangers any personal or financial details; use only reputable local traders for work on the house or garden; avoid investment ‘opportunities’ from cold callers, especially by phone and never fall for direct marketing letters that claim you have won a fortune.

If people are unsure about anything to do with scams they can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or if anyone thinks they have been the victim of a scam, then they can call Fraud Action on 0300 123 2040.