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Beware: business is booming for the scammers – Trading Standards Service

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BT Coleraine

ading Standards Service has warned consumers to beware because business is booming for scammers.

During July which is Scams Awareness Month, Trading Standards Service are highlighting how the technological revolution has made scamming a fine art. The abundance of telephones, smartphones, computers and tablets has inspired a new generation of scammers from home and abroad.

Kevin McNamara, Trading Standards Service, said: “Consumers are being hoodwinked daily. It is virtually impossible to obtain redress from scammers. Consumers need to be much more careful. Just as they use the internet to search for products and services, consumers should use the internet to research the seller or provider and check reviews and scam alerts from those who have already been caught out. It is one of the easiest ways of protecting yourself.”

Each month Trading Standards Service’s Consumerline receives hundreds of complaints, many from people who have been scammed from a few pounds to many thousands of pounds.

For example:

Phone calls catch the unwary who are frequently too quick to agree business over the phone.
Instead of being given money, some consumers have lost hundreds of pounds applying for loans.
Fake websites supposedly selling cars and even outboard motors have caught local consumers out in recent weeks.
Lots of people fall for “Free Trials” of various lotions and potions. Thinking they have paid only a few pounds for post and packaging, they discover that they have had sometimes hundreds of pounds withdrawn from their account under a Continuous Payment Authority. In many cases, goods are simply never delivered.
Consumers or businesses who feel that they have been a victim should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262. More information on Consumerline is available at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/consumerline/

Trading Standards Services and Citizens Advice are leading activities throughout the month of July for Scams Awareness Month. For further information visit the Scams Awareness Month campaign site at:scams.citizensadvice.org.uk

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