People aged under 24 in the Western Isles are being warned that they are more vulnerable to certain types of scam than other age groups.
In the second week of Scams Awareness Month, Western Isles Citizens Advice Service are targeting their message specifically at young people who may be unaware that they are at risk.
Recent Citizens Advice research shows that:
- 65% of Scots say the most common type of scam is email scams, which disproportionately affect younger people.
- When asked about scam types, people aged 16-24 are most likely to mention online scams (website or online shopping).
- Over half of adults aged 18–24 are unlikely to report a scam, making them the largest group who are unlikely to take any action when encountering a scam.
- Common scams targeting this age group include subscription traps (especially online through social media), identity fraud and job scams.
A spokesperson for WICAS says: “Last week we launched our Scams Awareness Campaign, aimed at making local people more vigilant in spot scams and report them. This campaign is for everyone but each week we will focus particularly on one group in the community. This week we are talking particularly to young people (under 24).
“Evidence shows that younger people often think they are less likely to be hit by scams, but in fact this is not the case. Indeed many scammers will develop particular techniques that are aimed more at young people…online scams, ticketing scams and subscription traps.
“Our message to young people is to be savvy about scams and make sure you don’t get caught out. If you receive emails or texts out of the blue offering what looks like a great deal, be sceptical. Check out the sender, ask your friends and family about them and don’t hand over any money until you are absolutely sure the offer is real.
“And if you are unlucky enough to be scammed, report it. Remember a scam is a crime and reporting it to the police or Trading Standards will help stop others falling victim to it.
“At the local CAB in the Western Isles we have more advice and information and we also have a social media campaign on https://twitter.com/CitAdviceScot and https://www.cas.org.uk/campaigns/scams-awareness-month-2018 which has more tips and advice about scams.”
And officers from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Consumer and Environmental services and Building standards will be handing out Scam Aware cards when visiting domestic premises this month.
Scams Awareness Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness and take a stand against the crimes and predatory practices which affect millions of people.
Citizens Advice research shows that almost three-quarters (72%) of people surveyed had been targeted by scammers in 2015-2017. Over a third had been targeted five or more times.
A CnES spokesperson said, “Scams are a growing problem and this campaign seeks to encourage the reporting of scams, and to remove the stigma of being scammed”.
To report Scams or suspected scams contact Trading Standards on 01851 822694 or the Police on 101.
For advice on scams contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 03454 040506.