Scams Awareness Month was launched at the beginning of this week by East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau and Trading Standards.
The organisations aim to help stop people falling prey to scams by following a three-step rule - get advice, report it, and tell others about it.
Cold calls, high-pressure sales tactics and automated voicemails asking for people’s details are just some of the tricks scammers use to rob people of their hard earned money. Fraud victims pay a heavy price, losing billions of pounds every year.
Scams targeting people by phone or post alone cost people in the UK an estimated UK £5 billion each year.
East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau and Trading Standards are inviting locals to come and meet them, so they can stop scams in their tracks and give tips on how to spot a scam.
People will learn the tell-tale signs of fraud, from being made an offer that’s too good to be true, to being rushed into signing on the dotted line.
Informing the authorities and warning others is the only sure way of stopping scams, but people can be hesitant to even tell their friends and family.
Trading Standards staff will highlight how speaking up about a scam is key to getting them closed down, and how to go about reporting suspected fraud to the authorities.
Catherine Bradley, Bureau Manager of East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau said: “We see new scams emerging all the time.
“However, there are common hallmarks and we’re keen to show people what to look out for so they don’t fall prey to a fraudster.
“Reporting suspicious offers and incidents of fraud is vital to getting scams closed down. If you think you’ve been contacted by a con artist or have been the victim of scam, seek advice and report it to the authorities.”
Councillor Rhondda Geekie, leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “Scams are more common than most people realise and every day we hear from people who have lost money to a con-artist.
“Some scams are one-offs that persuade you to part with a lump sum, while others go after your personal details so they can access your money or copy your identity.
“We’re asking people to help us tackle scams in East Dunbartonshire by getting to know the common signs, warning others, and reporting incidents to us so we can investigate.”
To find out more go along to one of the following venues between 10.30am and 2.30pm:
Thursday, July 14 - Waitrose, Glasgow Road, Milngavie, Wednesday, July 27 - B&Q, Strathkelvin Retail Park, Bishopbriggs or Thursday, July 28 - Regent Centre, Kirkintilloch.
If you would like to report a scam contact Citizens Advice Bureau consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.