There are a lot of SCAM activities but they all have the same purpose – to con people out of money by using misleading or deceptive communications such as letters, emails or phone calls. Most of this activity is FRAUDULENT and, as such, CRIMINAL. Using the support of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Services, I have compiled this page to act as an easy reference to guard anyone against becoming a victim of scam activity.
Awareness and Advice
The Citizens Advice website has information about common consumer scams.
Business Companion has advice on how to spot and avoid scams targeting businesses.
By far the best weapon to combat scams is education and it follows that knowing what to look for is critical to your defence. The FAS has produced a very informative Guide to Scams that can be downloaded by clicking here.
In general, the ways a scammer finds a route to your wallet is through the post, by telephone, via the door step and/or through email – if nothing else, take heed of my 3 golden rules to guard against scamming.
- You can’t win a lottery unless you’ve bought a ticket beforehand
- If a deal seems too good to be true it’s probably a scam
- Never open an attachment or click on a link in an email unless you are confident of the source of the email
Of course there are many bits of advice that should be heeded that is available on the subject, but for ease of reference I have listed some services below:
- To cut out junk mail, register with the Mail Preference Service or call 0207 291 3310
- To cut out unwanted telephone calls, register with the Telephone Preference Service or call 0345 070 0707
- To report Scam mail to Royal Mail, send any items you believe to be scam received by post, with a covering letter, to Freepost, Scam Mail
- If you are unsure of an offer or its source, speak to family and friends or get advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506
- If you are looking to contract a trader and don’t have any personal recommendations or first hand knowledge of the possible companies, have a look at the Norfolk Trusted Trader service set up by Norfolk County Council
- For details of the latest scams in the region, sign up to the Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Scam Alert system
- Friends Against Scams (FAS): If you want to become a ‘Friend’ of the FAS scheme, visit the Friends Against Scams website. See below for details.
Friends Against Scams (FAS)
FAS is a scheme launched by National Trading Standards recently and is supported by regional government authorities that seeks to educate, and ultimately, help people avoid being scammed. I should emphasise that FAS is just one of quite a few such initiatives.
Presentation Offer for Local Groups
If an organisation in the North Norfolk area such as a WI, Rotary Club etc. would like a Scam Awareness Presentation, please contact Phil Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org). They last between 45 – 60 minutes are free of charge and will be adapted to suit the audience. A projector with a VGA socket (RS232 port) plus screen would need to be provided.