Today (Thursday 2 July 2015) CTSI will launch it's first ever Consumer Day during Conference at Bournemouth International Centre.
Consumer Day gives local consumers and consumer organisations the opportunity to engage with one another and hear about current issues. The day begins with a Plenary Session facilitated by BBC presenter Winifred Robinson, 'Coming together to help the individual' a consumer focused discussion with an excellent panel of guests including Gillian Guy CBE chief executive of Citizens Advice.
With National Scams Awareness Month launched yesterday (1 July 2015) by Citizens Advice, the morning plenary will focus on consumer issues and scams with panel members discussing the campaign.
Scams Awareness Month 2015 (SAM15) runs throughout July with the theme "Don't be Rushed, Don't be Hushed". The campaign is asking people to keep two things in mind whenever they receive an unsolicited approach or when looking for goods or services: don’t be rushed and don’t be hushed. People should take their time making a decision and be sure of their facts before parting with money or personal information, and speak out when they think they’ve spotted a scam. This campaign is encouraging residents to report suspicious activities, get advice if they think they’ve been conned, and to warn others to help stop scams from spreading.
Trading standards supports the campaign by urging people to get advice if they think they've been conned and to warn others to help stop scams spreading. The extensive work of trading standards officers has been fundamental in creating more knowledge and understanding for consumers of the risks of scams and tackling the issue continuously.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, 41 per cent of scams reported to Citizens Advice were cold calls. Fraudulent banking services, dodgy credit brokers and bogus investment opportunities were reported as being the highest recorded type of cold calls.
CTSI chief executive Leon Livermore said: "Protecting vulnerable people from scams is a task which trading standards take very seriously. We deal with heart breaking cases of financial loss and mental anguish. Unfortunately a huge number of scams go unreported, leaving the path clear for these scammers to devastate lives and we urge citizens report fraudsters.
Scams Awareness Month reaches out to guide those most at risk, helping them to spot a fraudster, report them and avoid falling victim to these sinister schemes in the first place."
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said: "Scammers can target anyone, anytime. Our research found that scams are most likely to be cold calls, posing as financial services and going on to steal people's details.
"Scams are not only bad for consumers, but bad for business too. Rogue tradesmen, fake online ads and false investment opportunities all undermine genuine businesses. Reporting scams is the only way to protect more people from getting conned, and keep our businesses from being out-done by fraudulent offers that are too good to be true."
Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards said: “Our National Trading Standards teams are actively pursuing criminals that deceive consumers through scams. This includes operators behind online scams – such as free trial scams for products like diet pills – postal scams and doorstep crime.
Our investigations are informed by people reporting suspected scams to Citizens Advice, but we know that there are thousands of cases each year that go unreported. National Trading Standards is pleased to support Scams Awareness Month and we hope that it will encourage many more people to come forward to report potential scams.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be at risk of falling victim to a scam we urge you to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.”
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Notes for Editors:
- Millions of people a year in the UK fall prey to scammers. Estimates of the total cost of mass-market scams run to £5 billion, but with few consumers reporting them, the loss could be a lot higher. Research shows that fewer than one in 20 victims report scams to the authorities. But it isn’t only about money. Scams blight people’s lives and lead to emotional trauma for families and loss of confidence among victims and consumers worried they’ll be next.
- This is the first year Consumer Day has been launched at CTSI annual conference. For more information please visit our website: http://www.tradingstandards.uk/events/consumerday.cfm
- Scams Awareness Month information can be found on the Citizens Advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/current_campaigns/scams-awareness-month/scams-awareness-month/
- From April 2014 - March 2015, Citizens Advice dealt with 20,689 fraud and scam cases. This comprises 14,933 cases dealt with by the Consumer Service, and 5,756 cases handled by local Citizens Advice.
For further information please contact the CTSI press office on 01268 582240 or email@example.com