Be vigilant this Fraud Awareness Week

14 November 2022
text reads: fraudsters are stealing from your local services. False claims for council tax support, false accident claims, misuse of grant payments, misuse of direct payments. Be extra vigilant and report fraud if you suspect it. Call anonymously for free on 0800 731 5783. Send a text starting with 'fraud' to 07491 163 806, report it online at

Residents are being urged to remain vigilant this Fraud Awareness Week following a rise in scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern over the cost of living crisis.

Criminals could attempt to coax you into buying goods or services that don’t exist or trick you into handing over personal and financial details with the promise of financial support to help with the cost of living. They may contact you by phone, email, text, on social media, or even call at your door.

There are a number of ways fraudsters are known to target victims, including:

  • Doorstep crime where rogue traders knock at your door and pressure you into buying something or signing up for a service e.g gardening or tree cutting services or roofing and paving
  • Telephone and online scams where criminals claim to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company or other organisations such as the council or government
  • Charity scams are when fraudsters take advantage of your generosity and claim to be raising money for a fake charity or impersonate a well-known charity
  • Council tax scams which can include you getting a message or a phone call saying that you are entitled to a refund. Criminals will then ask for card or bank details to send the refund to

There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from these scams. If you are approached by a doorstep trader, identify who is calling by insisting on seeing and checking their identification. Never be rushed in to agreeing to buy a service or produce, take your time to make a decision.

When it comes to email or telephone scams, confirm callers or requests are genuine by checking the organisation’s website for its phone number and calling them back. You could also do this with email addresses. Your bank will never ask you to withdraw or  transfer money or ask you to reveal a password or PIN. Do not click links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.

If you meet somebody claiming to be a fundraiser for a charity, check their credentials. Street collectors should wear an ID badge that is clearly visible and collection buckets should be sealed and undamaged. When giving online, make sure the charity is genuine by typing in the charity website yourself rather than clicking on a link and look for the registered charity number on the website.

Cllr. Simon Mountney, Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee, said:

“Fraud is an ever-evolving threat and a risk that doesn’t stand still. With so many of the Council’s essential services being delivered online and with many of us working from home, being aware and vigilant to the fraud threat is more important than ever before.

“Beating fraud is everyone’s business and we all have a role to help stop fraud. I fully support this initiative and would advise everyone to be extra vigilant and report fraud it if you suspect it.”

Advice and resources to help avoid scams

For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, or to report a complaint to Trading Standards, visit the Citizens Advice website or call the National Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

National Trading Standards resources:

  • free online training: Friends Against Scams
  • businesses Against Scams: free online modules to help train your  workforce to help staff identify and prevent potential scams

Businesses can take the training and sign up on the Friends Against Scams website

Fraud Awareness Week begins today (Monday 14 November) until Sunday 20 November.

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