CTSI urges consumers to watch out for online scams on World Consumer Rights Day
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) urges UK consumers to be on the lookout for scams as it supports World Consumer Rights day, which this year focuses on Building Fair Digital Finance. Consumers International report that the UK has been branded ‘bank scam capital of the world’.
Trading Standards have a key role to play in keeping UK consumers safe when shopping online, especially as consumers are facing increased financial hardship with the cost of living crisis.
CTSI Chief Executive Officer, John Herriman said:
“The cost of living crisis will sadly lead fraudsters to financially exploit the public, especially the most vulnerable, who may fall victim to scams or unfair practices as they look to save money when shopping online or looking for finance deals.
“This is a crucial time for regulators to work together to plug the emerging gaps in a rapidly evolving online marketplace. Despite significant reductions to budgets in the last decade, Trading standards services continually work in partnership with other agencies, going above and beyond to protect consumers.
CTSI is in an ongoing dialogue with the UK Government and key stakeholders to ensure UK consumers are safe when shopping both on the high street and online. The risks highlighted by Consumers International point to the urgent need for a consumer protection strategy which considers the resources available for effective regulation.”
Katherine Hart, a CTSI Lead Officer said:
“The consumer landscape has changed so rapidly over the last couple of years, many people have changed how they do many of their day to day activities. We rely on digital and cyber technology more and more, from our smart phones through to our computers. Scammers have also seen the changes in digital culture and have therefore adjusted their tactics to ensure that their criminal networks flourish at a time when the UK is struggling.
“Trading Standards see prevention as a key pillar in the foundations of tackling scams and the criminals who operate behind the scenes. We urge consumers to question transactions, take time to think and never respond to any pressure to part with goods or money. Consumers should never be embarrassed in reporting a scam, because we as enforcement agencies need this information to work together to ensure consumer protection measures are strong enough that the scammers are disrupted and taken to task.”
If you have made a payment in response to a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible.
For consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133
To report scams in England and Wales, contact Action Fraud. In Scotland, contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 800 9060, or if in Northern Ireland, call Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.
The public is encouraged to join Friends Against Scams, an initiative aiming to protect and prevent people from becoming scam victims by empowering them to take a stand against scams.
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
CTSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk
CTSI Press Office: email@example.com, 01268 582240