Could you identify a scam? Our guest, Stephen Kerr MP, tells us more about his ‘scambusters’ events, which aim to help educate the public about their dangers.
This is a guest post by Stephen Kerr MP. All views expressed are Stephen’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
We’re all familiar with the stories of ‘knock on the door’ scams, such as people offering to tarmac your drive only for weeds to end up breaking through within a few weeks!
Many of us grew up hearing about that type of scam, but over the past few years we’ve seen a huge growth in more sophisticated types of fraud.
I want to see far more severe penalties introduced for those that profit from nuisance calls.
Earlier this year, I introduced a Bill in the House of Commons that would ensure the owners of companies that rip people off are held accountable.
We must keep up the pressure on the Government to introduce the reforms needed. There should be no hiding place for those that seek to profit from this insidious industry.
With the seemingly endless variety of cons being thought up it is imperative that people are well informed and that we all understand the bear traps constantly being laid in our path.
Just last week I was told of a con involving cold calling that informs homeowners their cavity wall insulation could be failing and the helpful company on the end of the phone or on your doorstep will, for a fee of course, ‘sort it all out’.
I am increasingly concerned that many of us are unable to keep pace with the continuous evolution and inventiveness of the fraudsters.
Our society cannot simply push people on to this digital pathway without doing everything possible to ensure they are fully equipped to combat the threat. We constantly upgrade our anti-virus software on our computer for good reason. We need to do the same personally to keep pace.
Never give your bank or card details to anyone if you’re not completely confident it’s genuine. Do not be taken in by notifications that something you use or subscribe to is about to be terminated or suspended.
I would ask that we all look out for friends, neighbours and family members that may be more vulnerable to being cheated. I have heard some terrible stories of life savings stolen and lives devastated.
Do not be nervous about contacting the police if you think someone is being taken advantage of.
I would like to thank Which? for its tireless campaigning on this issue and for the support it has offered me when I have organised ‘scambusters’ events.
These have proved extremely popular and provide an opportunity for people to come along and hear how to protect themselves from the ever increasing number of frauds and scams.
There is another one coming up at the Raploch Community Campus on Friday November 1 from 10am to 3pm as a drop-in. We’ll have stands and stalls from a variety of different organisations, including Police Scotland, Trading Standards and Solicitors for Older People Scotland.
There are also some short presentations taking place in the morning and afternoon. If you’re in the Stirling area and are interested then do feel free to contact me.
This was a guest post by Stephen Kerr MP. All views expressed were Stephen’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
Do you help keep friends and family safe from scams by sharing the latest advice, warnings and examples? Do you think events such as ‘Scambusters’ are a good idea? Let us know in the comments.