Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scam Awareness Month

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today launched its 2011 Scams Awareness Month, as new figures reveal the UK's top scams.

With the support of consumer champion Esther Rantzen, the OFT is calling on people to bin scam mailings in 'Scamnesty' bins located around the country.

New research commissioned by the OFT shows that 39 per cent of people who lost money to a scam in the past 12 months were victim of a money transfer or advance fee scam. These dupe people into handing over their bank details or paying an up-front fee by leading them to believe they are entitled to an inheritance, donating to charity or even helping release funds from a corrupt country.

The research reveals the scale of the problem with mass-marketed scams in Britain, which arrive by post, email, text, phone or the internet and aim to con people into parting with their cash.

The survey also found that:

* Nearly one in every twenty people (4%) lost money to a scam last year alone.
* Amongst these, the realistic nature of scams was the top reason for falling for them. When presented with a list of options, 61 per cent said they think scams looking real made them get involved with them.
* Of those who reported being scammed in the last 12 months, seven per cent lost more than £4,000.
* 39 per cent of respondents who had been scammed in the last 12 months said they did not report it to the authorities.

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