Ofcom supports Scams Awareness Fortnight
Today marks the start of Scams Awareness Fortnight, a campaign aimed at helping people to avoid falling victim to scams.
According to Citizens Advice figures released to mark the start of the campaign, 36 million people in the UK have been targeted by a scammer this year.
The figures also show that while over-55s are most likely to be targeted, people aged 34 and under are almost five times more likely to fall victim to a scam. Younger people were most likely to be targeted by text or messaging service (61%), while those over 55 were most likely to be targeted over the phone (73%).
Of all those targeted by a scammer:
- 54% were about fake deliveries or parcels
- 41% were by someone pretending to be from the government
- 12% were by someone offering a fake investment or get rich quick scheme
Citizens Advice also said that, comparing the first five months of 2021 with the same period in 2020, the number of scams reported to it has more than doubled, by 123%.
We’re supporting Scams Awareness Fortnight to help people understand how to spot scams and stay safe. This is vital as criminals use increasingly sophisticated ways to scam people – causing huge distress and financial harm.
Tackling this requires efforts from a range of different organisations and we’re playing our part – working closely with industry, the police and other regulators.
Lindsey Fussell, Group Director of Network and Communications at Ofcom
From fraudulent get rich quick schemes to dodgy texts, opportunistic scammers continue to prey on even the savviest of consumers. Our research shows that when it comes to scams anyone can be targeted, and anyone can be tricked.
It’s more important than ever we all do our bit to report scams when we see them to help protect ourselves and others. By learning how scammers operate, and helping each other understand what to look out for, we can all work together to stop fraudsters in their tracks.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice
Ofcom supports the Citizens Advice-led campaign, and we have a range of advice to help you look out for scams, as well as information on what to do if you’ve fallen victim.
This includes a guide to avoiding recent scams relating to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and parcel delivery scam texts, as well as missed call scams and those that use number spoofing.