South Tyneside Council largeSouth Tyneside Council is urging people to be ‘scam aware’ and ‘trust their gut instinct’ as part of National Scams Awareness Month this July.

South Tyneside’s Trading Standards team has joined forces with the Citizens’ Advice and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to promote the campaign locally.

The first week of the campaign will focus on telephone scams while online, mail and doorstep scams will be highlighted in subsequent weeks.

Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “Telephone and postal scams lead to UK consumers losing an astonishing £5 billion every year.

“Scams are run by professional fraudsters whose only aim is to go after your cash. The money they receive can go towards drug and gun crime, terrorism and even human trafficking.

“We want people to get advice, report scams and tell others about their experiences to make them aware. Our advice is that if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

To avoid becoming a victim, residents are advised to follow these tips:

If you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t win it

  • You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize
  • Contacted out of the blue? Be suspicious
  • Never send money to someone you have never met or don’t trust
  • Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN or online password
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited calls to help you ‘fix’ your computer

To cut down on unwanted mail or phone calls, register for free with the Mailing Preference Service at www.mpsonline.org.uk and the Telephone Preference Service at www.tpsonline.org.uk

For further advice, or to report a scam, phone 03454040506 or email trading.standards@southtyneside.gov.uk