Residents in Lothian have been urged to avoid scams by following advice from Scotland’s new consumer advice service.
Neil Findlay MSP met with Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the consumeradvice.scot service, in the Scottish Parliament to discuss how to protect residents in Lothian.
Common scams include bogus callers who are offering services such as landscape gardening or maintenance work in a bid to gain access to properties; online marketplace traders selling fake goods; and fake emails claiming to be from companies including Amazon, banks or government departments.
Scams cost the UK economy up to £10 billion a year, and 53% of people over 65 have been targeted by scams. However, only 5% of scams have been reported.
If more potential scams are reported to consumeradvice.scot, the organisation can work with Trading Standards and Police Scotland to raise awareness and prevent more people from being scammed.
The organisation provides few, impartial and practical advice directly to consumers in Scotland.
Neil Findlay MSP said:
“Hundreds of people in Lothian fall victim to scams every year. By following advice from Scotland’s new consumer advice service, people can spot the tell tale signs and avoid being left out of pocket.
“There is no shame in being conned – scammers use sophisticated techniques to trick people. It is crucial that any suspicions should be reported to consumeradvice.scot”
Andrew Bartlett, CEO of consumeradvice.scot, said:
“Realising that you may have been the victim of a scam can be extremely upsetting and worrying.
“As Scotland’s new consumer advice service, we are working hard to make people more aware of scams, and advise those who are scammed.
“It’s very important that any potential scams are reported to us as soon as possible so that we can raise awareness with Trading Standards and the police.”