As part of Scams Awareness Month (July 2016) the Consumer Council has revealed that almost one in five Northern Ireland (NI) consumers have been a victim of a scam in the last three years.
With this mind the Consumer Council, Police Service of Northern Ireland and Trading Standards Service have joined forces to launch a new scams leaflet ‘Know the signs... stop the crime’, to help raise awareness of the different types of scams, things to look out for and most importantly how to report a scam.
Ronan Convery, Consumer Council explains: 'Our research shows a significant number of consumers have been the victim of a scam in the last three years. Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated so we urge consumers to request a leaflet and learn what to look out for'.
Laura Kane, Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service said: 'Scams are constantly evolving and the best way to stay protected is to know the signs of a scam and keep up to date with any new tricks scammers may be using. Visit the Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service Facebook page for regular updates on the latest scams.'
Discussing the leaflet Inspector Gabriel Moran said: 'The threat of fraud, both online and offline against the public is a constant focus for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
'Scammers and fraudsters are inventive and the schemes they use are varied but the aim remains the same - to take money from unsuspecting members of the public. We all need to be vigilant of any contact from an unsolicited source, whether that is from doorstep callers, telephone, mail or online. Education is our best weapon, preventing people from becoming victims.'
If you want to report a scam contact either Consumerline on 0300 123 62 62 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40.
Download a copy of the Know the signs, stop the crime (PDF 720KB) scams leaflet, or call the Consumer Council on freephone 0800 121 6022 for a free copy.