TRADING standards chiefs in Bury are urging the public to be on the lookout for “dodgy dealers”.
Along with the Citizens Advice Bureau, they are running Scams Awareness Month throughout May.
Scams range from bogus online adverts to tricksters using dating websites to build relationships with people they later defraud.
Other regular types include “phishing” emails and “vishing” phone calls, designed to con people into giving away sensitive information involving an investment scam, and where advance fees are requested to claim unexpected lottery wins.
Angela Lomax, commercial practices manager with Bury Council trading standards, said: “It’s time for us to give scammers the shove.
"By telling us about a scam we can stop the con artists in their tracks and make sure no one else falls foul of their tricks.
"This month we will be telling people what to look out for, what kind of scams there are, and giving advice if you think you might have been a victim.”
Fewer than five per cent of people in the UK report scams to the authorities, so trading standards have said that it is time to “fight back against scammers” to ensure they do not get away with conning innocent people.
People are being advised to report suspicious adverts or sales pitches to the authorities and speak to a friend or relative first about any out-of-the-blue offers they get on the doorstep, by phone or e-mail.
Among the top tips for dealing with scams are: l You should not have to pay anything to get a prize.
- Walk away from job adverts that ask for money in advance.
- Don’t send money to someone you don’t know.
If you have been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or online at www.adviceguide.org.uk