Residents are being encouraged to get scam aware and do their part to prevent them this July for Scams Awareness Month.
Rochdale Borough Council is backing the Citizens Advice and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's campaign to help residents learn how to spot, report and talk about scams in a bid to tackle under-reporting, protect vulnerable people and reduce the stigma around falling victim to a scam.
"Anybody can be targeted by scammers"
Scams can come in all shapes and sizes – from unsolicited phone calls that claim to help people fix their computers to fake, and potentially life threatening products, being sold on-line.
Although scammers often prey on socially-isolated or vulnerable people like those with disabilities, illness or older people, anyone can be targeted.
In the last 5 years online scams have risen by 60% and there has been a sharp increase in victims aged under 25. Statistics show that over half of this age group would be unlikely to report it. People aged 40-60 are the largest group targeted by a variety of scams because they are generally more settled and have access to financial assets. This group are also unlikely to report scams if they've been able to retrieve their money.
"I urge everyone to do their part and act of scams"
The council's trading standards team is urging people to report scams so authorities can put a stop to them and protect vulnerable people.
Councillor Jacqueline Beswick, the council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "Anybody can be targeted by criminals trying to scam large sums of money from them, so it is extremely important that we do everything we can to raise awareness and protect people from falling foul of scams. Many victims stay silent because they are embarrassed but there is no need to be and by reporting scams you can help us put a stop to them and prevent anybody else from the same distress.
"I urge everyone to do their part and act of scams. If you spot one, report it and warn your friends and relative. We don't tolerate scams so neither should you!"
Residents who know of or have been a victim of a scam should go to Citizens Advice Consumer Service or call 03454 040506 to report it.