Citizens Advice takes a stand against scams in South Gloucestershire

July 28 2017

CITIZENS Advice South Gloucestershire has been taking part in a campaign to help prevent people falling victim to scams.

CITIZENS Advice South Gloucestershire has been taking part in a campaign to help prevent people falling victim to scams.

The organisation, which runs twice-weekly sessions in Thornbury as well as having its office in Yate, wants to encourage those who have been conned to report their experience.

The drive comes as Citizens Advice nationally has revealed a 17 per cent increase in people being scammed after buying phantom goods.

It said the scam works by conning shoppers into buying high value items, often online, which turn out not to exist. The average loss was £1,100.

People were most likely to be scammed when buying cars, flights and furniture. Other phantom goods included jewellery and cameras. 

The Citizens Advice consumer service received 555 reports of such scams during January and March 2017, compared with 495 over the same period in the previous year.

Scams reported to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire in the past year include online shopping and auction scams – the most commonly reported type of fraud in the area.

Chantal Watts, general manager of Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire said: “Being scammed can ruin people’s finances. 

“People can lose significant amounts from phantom goods scams, so it’s important they don’t rush into online purchases until they’re sure the seller is genuine.

“We’re encouraging people to report and talk about scams so that more fraudsters can be stopped.

“People can also come and see us or call the Citizens Advice consumer service if they want advice on whether something is a genuine deal or a scam, or for advice if they have been scammed.”

The consumer service can be contacted on 03454 040506. Scams or suspected scams should be reported to Action Fraud by email to www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040.