North Lanarkshire Council is supporting Citizens Advice Scotland’s Scams Awareness campaign which gives new figures showing the scale of scams in Scotland.
Just under half (46 per cent) of people in Scotland say they have been targeted by scams at least once in the last year. Of these, nearly one in three (30 per cent) was targeted more than three times.
The figures, based on a survey by YouGov, are published by Citizens Advice Scotland as part of the Scams Awareness campaign 2019 which aims to tackle stigma about reporting scams, urging them to STOP, REPORT, and TALK about them.
Councillor Michael McPake, convener of the Environment and Transportation Committee which oversees Trading Standards in North Lanarkshire, said: “Scammers are extremely manipulative, and every age group can be vulnerable to scams which are often very appealing.
“Scammers depend on us staying silent. The more we talk about them, the more aware people become, and the harder they will find it to scam the next person.
“If you are contacted and offered unsolicited goods or services don’t be rushed into making a decision. If it sounds too good to be true – it is.
“If you think you have been caught out by scammers, or are suspicious of an offer that you think may be a scam, don’t suffer in silence.
“Report your concerns to North Lanarkshire Council’s consumer advice partner, Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.”
The most common methods of scam identified in the Yougov survey were email (38 per cent), telephone (42 per cent) and online (10 per cent).
The most common types of scam were computer and internet repairs (39 per cent), personal injury scams (38 per cent), fake tax refunds and online transaction scams (32 per cent).
A second survey, also conducted by YouGov, produced interesting findings about the issue of stigma and blame.
Most Scots (71 per cent) believe those hit by scams should not be embarrassed about it, and 82 per cent say the main reason for scams is that scammers are clever in the way they present themselves.