Ceredigion MP Mark Williams spoke in a debate in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon to raise awareness about scam mailing.
The Office of Fair Trading warn that during tough economic times, not only will there be more scams, but the range of scams will be greater as scammers try to find more and new innovative ways of duping people into parting with their money. Mr Williams has warned that we need to be vigilant and sceptical about what is coming through letterboxes, into email inboxes, and via telephone.
According to a Citizens Advice survey, the scam which causes most concern for people in Wales is that of ‘switching’, whereby a so called money saving deal is offered to switch energy or phone supplier but you end up paying more for the service. Also high on the list as causing concern were bogus debt advice services, who take money for a service they do not provide, and prize offer mailings, which say you have won a huge prize or sum of money provided that you first pay a fee.
Mr Williams said: “In times when the purse strings are tight, those more vulnerable or the many of us worried about our finances can more easily fall into the trap of replying to a scam. However I would urge constituents to remain vigilant. If something seems to be good to be true, it usually is.
“There are lots of great campaigns and awareness raising initiatives out there to help people deal with scams, and Ceredigion Trading standards, Ceredigion Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and Consumer Focus are always willing to help anyone who has been subject to a scam. "In addition, Dyfed Powys Police went live in December with Action Fraud, a good collaborative tool set up to tackle scams across the UK, and I would urge anyone who has received any scam mail, scam email or scam cold call to get in touch with Action Fraud.”
Report any scams to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud.