As June’s Scams Awareness campaign closes, Citizens Advice Purbeck recommends you continue to be on your guard against financial and legal scams following a rise in cases reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service. The charity ran special scams awareness sessions in local libraries, and met with Michael Tomlinson MP to discuss the impact of scams and how we can help residents take steps to avoid being scammed.

A total of 1200 financial and legal scams were reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service in the year ending April 2018 - a 6% increase on the year before. The median loss for these scams was £330.

To help stop more people being fleeced by these types of scams, Citizens Advice Purbeck has some tips on how to spot them:

● Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise

● Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away

● If it sounds too good to be true it probably is

● Never send money to someone you have never met

● Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you

● Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance

● Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer

● Suspect a scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call

● Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No Thank You”

● Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams

You can find lots of help with spotting and reporting scams on the Citizens Advice website at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/spotting-a-scam/

If you suspect you have been scammed, contact Citizens Advice for help with what to do next. Call Adviceline on 03444 111 444 or visit www.purbeckadvice.org.uk for drop-in times.