Have you been scammed?

Citizens Advice say that people are more likely to lose money from ‘phantom goods’ than any other scam. Fraudsters will pretend to sell a range of goods, from jewellery and cameras to musical instruments and driving lessons. Last year National Trading Standards identified and suspended over 500 Twitter accounts and 140 websites linked to scams, leading to hundreds of arrests. Reporting scams and warning friends is the best way to help Trading Standards win the battle against uncaring, victimising scammers. Get advice if you’ve been scammed, from the Citizens Advice consumer service: 03454 04 05 06. Report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040 actionfraud.police.uk

When buying:

Financial products – Is the company is on the Financial Conduct Authority’s registerof approved businesses? Don’t pay by bank transfer – Always use a credit card, debit card or PayPal to pay for items bought online and never pay by bank transfer. Package holidays –  Check the tour operator is ATOL protected. Used cars – look at the vehicle and paperwork in person.  Do a domain check – Type in the trader’s web address to whois.com so you know they’re genuine. Make sure their full address and contact details are listed. When buying online – look for the padlock sign in the url bar on the payment page so you know the website is secure. The web address should also start with ‘https://’ and part of the wording may turn green too.

Contact your local Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444.  Or drop in, details of opening times are on our website www.lewesdistrictcab.org.uk