72% of people in Harrogate have been targeted by a scammer so far this year as the cost-of-living crisis takes hold, new research by Citizens Advice Harrogate.
Of those people targeted by a scam, the top five most common types of scams reported in Harrogate included:
- Deliveries, portal and courier services – 56%
- Government or HMRC scams – 41%
- Investment or financial – 32%
- Rebates and refunds – 28%
- Online shopping – 27%
Ahead of many households receiving vital government help to cope with rising prices, Citizens Advice and the Consumer Protection Partnership have launched their annual Scams Awareness campaign.
For information on the genuine types of help available and how you’ll receive it see If you’re struggling with living costs and Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills on the Citizens Advice website.
Carol Shreeve, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire, which Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate Districts recently merged with said:
A shocking number of people in North Yorkshire have been targeted by a scammer so far this year.
We know scammers prey on our worries and fears, sadly the cost-of-living crisis is no exception.
Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and as the purse strings are tightened and financial pressures pile on, it’s important we work together to protect ourselves and each other.
To stop more people from falling victim to these types of scams, Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire is sharing five top tips to help you guard against a potential scam:
- It seems too good to be true – for example, scammers pretending to be energy companies to lure people into “too good to be true” deals
- You suspect you’re not dealing with a real company or a genuine person – take a moment to step back and double-check
- You’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly
- You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – like by an iTunes voucher or a transfer service
- You’ve been asked to give away personal information such as passwords, PINs or other verification codes.
If you’ve been scammed, Citizens Advice Harrogate advises:
- Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
- Report the scam to Citizens Advice. Offline scams, like those using the telephone, post and coming to your door, can be reported to the Citizens Advice website or by calling 0808 223 1133.
- Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on 0808 250 5050
- Text scams can be reported to your mobile phone provider by forwarding it to 7726
- Also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.