Western Isles Citizens Advice Service (WICAS) has entered the third week of its Scams Awareness Month, a campaign that aims to help people become more vigilant about fraud and scams.
“All of July we have been spreading the message to local people that they should spot, avoid and report scams,” said a WICAS spokesperson.
“We are now past the half-way mark of the campaign and we have already distributed information to lots of local people. Just by raising awareness of scams and making people more vigilant we believe we are saving local people from the misery and hardship that scams can cause.”
They continued: “Though our campaign messages are for everyone, this week we are targeting in particular those people who are socially isolated.
“Research has shown that people who live by themselves and don’t have much social contact can be vulnerable to scammers, for example through doorstep scams or online fraud.”
In a bid to help, this week’s CAB Tips to avoid scams are
- Want to avoid cold callers on your doorstep? Get a sticker for your front door from your local Trading Standards of police force
- If you think a vulnerable friend or relative is falling prey to scammers, @think_jessica can help, visit www.thinkjessica.com
- Charity @victimsupport gives free and confidential help to victims of crime, their family, friends and anyone else affected, visit www.victimsupport.org.uk
- Doorstep and face-to-face scams still affect many people. Help stop scammers picking on vulnerable members of society by reporting scams and spreading the word through Citizens Advice, click here
The need for vigilance is ever present, as WICAS spokesperson added: “It has been recently reported that the names and addresses of nearly 300,000 people across the UK are on lists which are being sold between criminals to use as targets for scams.
“Research has found that nine in ten people on these lists are unaware that they are being targeted. Often, people who are socially isolated are not able to connect to the support or help to prevent this.
“We can all help such people by talking about scams and reporting them when they happen, and also by passing on our information to those we think may be vulnerable.
“The one thing scammers don’t want us to do is talk to each other about them and how they operate. They rely on us keeping quiet. So we can all play our part in beating them by looking out for ourselves and each other.”
More information is available through your local CAB office –
Barra CAB – 01871 810608
Uist CAB – 01870 602421
Harris CAB – 01859 502431
Lewis CAB – 01851 705727