30th July 2012
Consumers and businesses at risk from cold callers and other scams
The Council's Trading Standards Service continues to be contacted by consumers and businesses in Shetland who have received phone calls, emails and letters trying to con them out of money.
Trading Standards, Team Leader, David Marsh, says: "These scam take many forms, from emails asking you to update online banking details to letters telling you about an inheritance windfall, but they're all aimed at getting money from you in some way or other.
“The latest was a phone call to a small business from a person who claimed that he wanted to place an urgent order for goods.The business owner was suspicious, so she made some checks which confirmed her doubts and refused to have any further dealings with the caller. When she contacted us, however, she did remark that in her younger days (when she was less experienced in business) she might well have been taken in by an approach like this.
“Some of these scammers are very clever, and use sophisticated techniques to try to draw us in to their traps - but the best advice is quite simple and straightforward. Always question why someone has contacted you, don’t be afraid to put the phone down, and never give out your personal details to anyone whocalls you out of the blue - and encourage your family, friends and neighbours to take the same approach.
“Similarly, think very carefully before opening an attachment or clicking on a web link in an email - if you need to go to the website of your bank (or some other organisation which has apparently emailed you), then find them online as you normally would rather than using a link which may take you to a cloned copy of the genuine website. And if you haveinadvertently given someone personal information such as bank account or credit card details, change your passwords and report the incident to your bank and credit card company.”
Further information about scams and how to avoid them, along with general consumer advice, visit www.shetland.gov.uk/tradingstandards or call Trading Standards on 01595 744887.