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Nearly half of Scots targeted by scams at least once in the last year

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Nearly half of Scots targeted by scams at least once in the last year

Nearly half of people in Scotland say they have been targeted by scams at least once in the last year, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

Overall the Scottish CAB network reported a 113 per cent increase in the number of people reporting scams between 2017/18 and 2018/19, leading CAS to launch its Scams Awareness Campaign 2019.

In 2018/19 the Scottish CAB network gave out 1,038 pieces of advice about scams, up by 86 per cent from 2017/18.

A survey by YouGov found that, of those hit by scams, 30 per cent were targeted more than three times.

The most common methods of scam identified in the poll were by telephone, at 42 per cent, email, at 38 per cent, and online 10 per cent.

Meanwhile the most common types of scam were computer and internet repairs, at 39 per cent, personal injury scams, at 38 per cent, and then fake tax refunds and online transaction scams, at 32 per cent. 

Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Derek Mitchell, said: “Let’s get one thing clear. A scam is a crime. It is fraud. In other words, it is theft. Whether they managed to take money from you or not, the person who scammed you is guilty of a crime, and they need to be reported to the police so they can be stopped. 

“I have a message for scammers – we are on to you. We are tracking your methods and finding more and more ways to beat you. In this campaign we are joined by Trading Standards, Police Scotland, Young Scot, Age Scotland and others.

“But the biggest allies in the fight against scams are the people of Scotland. When we come across a scam, regardless of whether it impacts upon us, we need to stop, report it and talk about it to our friends and family.

 “Scammers depend on us staying silent. The more we talk about them, the more aware people become, and the harder they will find it to scam the next person.

 “The Citizens Advice network in Scotland helps and advocates for hundreds of thousands of people across Scotland every year.

“So that’s why the theme of our campaign this year is ‘Stop, report, talk’. And that’s my message to people across Scotland. If we work together we can beat the scammers. It’s time to do that. You can get information on how to spot scams from our website www.cas.org or from your local CAB.”

The YouGov survey was based on a sample size of 2,078 adults, conducted online.

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