With scammers using a mixture of methods to approach Scottish citizens, it has never been more important for us to be aware of how to avoid them.
Throughout Scottish ScamWatch Fortnight 2022, we will be looking at these scam methods, kicking off in the first week with the high-tech approaches to stealing personal information and our hard-earned cash.
Week two will focus on the more traditional methods used, and ways that scammers can use a blended approach to gather information.
Throughout the fortnight, we will be encouraging consumers to ‘Read between the li(n)es’ to what is actually being said by scammers when they reach out to us.
We might not be mind-readers, but when it comes to scams, we generally have an idea of what is going through scammer’s heads.
If you have been contacted by someone and you are concerned they may be trying to scam you:
- Don’t send them any money or buy anything; you should always do your homework before agreeing to anything such as checking online reviews of the company.
- Don’t give them any personal information, bank details, passwords or PIN numbers. If you’ve given out this type of information, you should change all passwords and pins and notify your bank.
- Don’t download any attachments or files in emails or click on any links. If you have then you should check that your device’s security is up to date and run a virus scan.
- Don’t ring any numbers you’ve received in an email or letter, especially if it’s a premium rate number. If you’re unsure about the cost of dialling a particular number, contact your service provider for advice.
- Don’t let them into your house. If you’re concerned about someone that you have allowed into your house who has refused to leave or someone knocking on doors in your area, call the police.
The ScamWatch campaign will provide tips on how to spot and avoid common scams, such as checking the legitimacy of investment opportunities, and the importance of using approved and trusted traders.
Free, impartial and practical advice is available to anyone in Scotland through Advice Direct Scotland’s consumeradvice.scot service.
Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 164 6000; and online, web chat and email at www.consumeradvice.scot.
More information on the campaign is available HERE.
The simple ScamWatch Quick Reporting Tool is available to report suspected scams and suspicious activity. You can also contact Police Scotland 101 or dial 999 in an emergency.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP said:
“Scottish ScamWatch Fortnight is an important campaign helping people to read between the lines when they are contacted unexpectedly by someone over the phone, by email or at their front door.
“Ultimately scammers are criminals taking advantage of people of all ages and backgrounds. “They are increasingly using a multitude of different ways to target people who need to be on their guard.
“I encourage people to take time over the next two weeks and read about how they can reduce exposure to scammers.
“Free and impartial advice is also available throughout the year through Advice Direct Scotland online and over the phone.”
Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said:
“With scammers using a mixture of methods to target Scots consumers, it has never been more important for us to be aware of how to avoid them.
“We have seen scammers adapt their tactics in line with major world events, including the Covid-19 pandemic and crisis in Ukraine.
“New scams including fake energy rebates are being recorded as scammers try to exploit the challenging circumstances facing many families across Scotland.
“Throughout the campaign, we are highlighting the importance of remaining vigilant and pausing before interacting with emails, text messages or social media adverts.
“The most effective way to stop scammers in their tracks is to report a scam to scamwatch.scot when you see one.
“It’s important to remember there is no shame in being scammed, and consumers who are concerned or need help should contact one of our specialist consumer advisers for free, impartial and practical advice.”