Research and campaigns

#NotJustAdvice

Campaigning for change

All local Citizens Advice offices send anonymous evidence forms to national Citizens Advice detailing issues affecting our clients. Based on this objective evidence we work for change both locally and nationally not just for our clients but for the whole community.

 

Scam Awareness 2022

Be #ScamAware

We’re all worried about money.
Don’t let scammers take yours.

What are scams?

Scams can affect anyone, at any age, from any background, and can happen online, in person or on the phone.

Lots of us are facing higher bills and worrying about money, and scammers are trying to take advantage of this.

Examples of scams are someone:

  • pretending to be an energy company offering “too good to be true” deals on gas or electricity costs in person online or on the phone
  • sending out phishing emails or making phone calls pretending to offer an energy rebate or government support to steal people’s personal information
How can I spot scams?
  • Someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly
  • You’re being urged to respond quickly so you don’t have time to think about it
  • You’ve been asked to pay for something urgently
  • You’ve been asked to give away personal information
  • Be suspicious

Scammers can appear like a trusted business or government official, have a professional website and say all the right things.

Take your time to work out if it is a real organisation.

Ask them for ID or contact the organisation on an official phone number not the one they give you!

How can I protect myself?
  • Don’t rush into making decisions. If they pressure you it is probably a scam.
  • Never give money or personal details, like passwords or bank details to anyone you don’t know, trust or have only met online or on the phone.
  • Pay by debit or credit card. This gives you extra protection if things go wrong.
  • Before you buy anything, check the company or website. Read reviews from different websites, search for the companies details on Companies House and look at their terms and conditions.
  • If you’re not sure about something, get advice from a trusted source.

Online scams

  • Don’t click on or download anything you don’t trust
  • Make sure your antivirus software is up to date
  • Use a strong password for email accounts that you don’t use anywhere else. You could try choosing 3 random words and adding symbols or numbers.
  • Some websites let you add a second step when you log into your account. This is called “2-factor authentication”. This makes it harder for scammers to access your accounts.
What can I do if I’ve been scammed?
  • Tell your bank straight away. They may be able to help you get your money back
  • Protect yourself by changing your online passwords and checking your computer for viruses
  • Report the scam

If you or someone you know has been scammed you should:

Call the Citizens Advice consumer service if you need support:

0808 223 1133 (England)

0808 223 1144 (Wales)

We’ll report it to Trading Standards and can offer further advice.

You can also report it to Action Fraud:

0300 123 2040

You can:

find out how to spot scams, report them and get help on the Citizens Advice public site

sign up for National Trading Standards scams alerts by email through Friends Against Scams

sign up for Action Fraud scams alerts

 

Research and Campaigns Report 2020/21

Each year, the Citizens Advice network of 266 local services, helps give millions of people the knowledge and confidence to find a way forward in an increasingly complex world.

If you want to find out more the full report is here.

National Consumer Week 2021

Every year National Consumer Week raises awareness of issues consumers are having across the country, and the protections and resources available to help people when they need it.

In 2021, NCW ran from 6 – 12 December and focused on misleading environmental and energy efficiency claims, to make sure consumers can safely and confidently make green decisions.

Have a look at our leaflet for tips on how to be a confident eco-friendly consumer.

 

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