It’s Scams Awareness Month – and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards officers are urging residents to be aware and protect themselves.
The important awareness-raising month has been organised in partnership with Citizens’ Advice to detail different kinds of scams – from online dating fraud to bogus lottery wins and get-rich-quick schemes. Take the scam quiz to test your knowledge and awareness.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has a proactive Trading Standards team that works across the county borough to not only protect residents from scams and scammers, but assist those who, unfortunately, do fall victim to fraud.
As well as officers to protect consumers and prosecute crooks, the team also includes the dedicated Consumer Advice Service, which offers online, phone and face-to-face support for those who are concerned about fraud or feel they may be scammed.
The county borough has also introduced Cold Calling Control Zones. The Zones covered over 400 houses in Porth, Tonteg and Llantrisant, areas which had previous reported high numbers of “cold callers”.
Introduced within Office of Fair Trading guidelines, the zones offered increased protection to residents who had previously been targeted. Recent evaluation of the zones have shown 93 per cent of residents in the zone now feel confident about sending doorstep sellers on their way, 83 per cent feel they have deterred doorstep sellers and 84 per cent feel safer.
Scam Awareness month has been divided into four weeks and this week (May 5-10) is focusing on online scams.
Cllr Paul Cannon, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Safer Communities, said: “The proactive work of our Trading Standards team has identified and tackled a large number of frauds and protected many residents.
“Unfortunately, we know there are residents who have fallen victim to scammers and, while some have come forward, we know many people never report this crime.
“Nationally, it is estimated just five per cent of fraud victims come forward and we want people to fight back and report scams and frauds.
“That is why we are supporting this important awareness-raising month, to empower residents and give them the information they need to be scam aware.”
The usual hallmarks of a scam is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. People can be scammed via the telephone, email, the internet or by those who call at their doors.
Scams can take many guises such as lotteries or competitions, money rebates, unpaid bills, problems with your PC and more recently courier scams. Find out more about different kinds of scams by downloading the information sheet. The Police publication "A Little Book Of Big Scams" also contains useful information.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, Trading Standards asks that you contact them on 01443 425001 to report it or call in to one of the One4All Centres in Pontypridd, Aberdare or Treorchy for confidential advice.
You can also visit the Consumer Advice Page