Coventry Citizens Advice

Consumer Issues – Scams

Over £5bn is lost to consumers each year through mass-marketed scams. Yet only 5% of scams are reported. We want to give victims the confidence to report their experiences.

The lack of reporting of scams makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to prosecute scammers. We want to actively support the work of enforcement agencies by providing evidence and testimony from those who have been affected.

If you want to find out more about local scams, or even sign up to the scam alert system run by Coventry Trading Standards please visit their website at www.coventry.gov.uk/tradingstandards .

If you have been the victim of a scam, or are aware of scams in your area, please report your experiences either to Trading Standards, to www.actionfraud.police.uk , or to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

If you want to find out more about scams in general, and how to protect yourself and your family, visit the national Citizens Advice website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk and put ‘scams’ in the search engine. Or visit the micro-site just for scams awareness, at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/scams/common-scams/ .

Play your Part – Act on Scams! Don’t let scammers win. Knowing what to look for, who to report your experience to and having the courage to ‘Tell your story’ is the best recipe for beating the cheats.

Watch our short film about scams

Key Facts About Scams:

  • £5 billion – the estimated amount lost each year by UK consumers to mass-marketed scams via phone and post.
  • Nearly half of people in the UK (48 per cent) have been targeted by a scam.
  • Scams by contact method reported to Action Fraud in 2014: telephone (including internet assisted calls) 38 per cent; online sales 20 per cent; email 14 per cent; doorstep/face to face 14 per cent.
  • Every year more than three million people in the UK fall victim to scams losing hundreds, sometimes thousands, even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
  • Just five per cent of scams are reported.
  • Losses to vishing (phone) scams more than trebled in 2014 from £7m to nearly £24 million, according to Financial Fraud Action UK; 58 per cent of people reported receiving suspicious calls.
  • Job scams are on the rise: £4,000 is the average loss with the 18–25 the most defrauded age group in this category.
  • More than half (52 per cent) of the number of victims of dating fraud reported suffering ill-health as a consequence.
  • £495 million – the total cost of pension scams known to the Pensions Regulator.
  • £670 million – the total annual cost to victims of the top ten online scams.

What should I look out for? How to Spot a Scam:

  • Is the offer too good to be true?
  • Are you being asked to pay something up front?
  • Are you being pressured to make a quick decision?
  • Have you been told to keep the offer secret?
  • Have you been given a PO Box number or mobile phone number as a company contact?
  • These are all warning signs – beware!

Campaign Questionnaire

If you have been the victim of a scam in the past and didn’t report it, tell us your story by completing our questionnaire - it won't take too long and we won't ask for any personal data.

Get Advice

If you you want more advice on employment or health and social care issues please either go to the ‘Get Advice’ section of this website or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk