Learn how to guard yourself against the scammers

Phone scams are common...don't be rushed into any action by scammers
Phone scams are common...don't be rushed into any action by scammers

CLYDESDALE consumers can learn to be on their guard against scams, particularly those targeting their pension cash, at drop-in sessions this week.

These are run by South Lanarkshire Council’s trading standards team and other organisations as part of Scam Awareness Month, which has the theme “Don’t be rushed, don’t be hushed”.

Its aim is to ensure consumers are informed and alert to the dangers of scams, know how to report them and are ready to talk about

their experiences to help prevent others becoming victims of such crimes.

Head of Environmental Services, Shirley Clelland, said: “New scams are emerging all the time.

“Some seem far-fetched as scammers seek new variations on familiar themes. They employ well-honed techniques to create a sense of urgency, opportunity, threat - whatever it takes to cajole and coerce people into parting with money or their potentially valuable information.

“And with the new pension freedoms that have been put in place recently, it is essential that consumers make informed decisions about their savings.

“But you must be wary of phrases such as “one-off investment”, “free pension reviews”, “legal loopholes” and “cash bonus”.

“The initial approach is often out of the blue by phone text or email.

“After building up the victims’ trust they persuade them to make hasty decisions.

“The sting in the tail is that not only do victims lose their savings but they can also face a hefty tax bill as well.

“And there are many other scams, old and new, that are constantly being employed by criminals to get you to part with your cash or identity.

“To understand and prevent these crimes consumers should arm themselves with the information they need to spot scams in the first place, report them when they are targeted and get the advice they need to help protect themselves in future.”

To help anyone with any concerns over scams, nuisance calls, and cold calling South Lanarkshire Council have organised a number of drop in sessions.

In Clydesdale the sessions are on Friday, July 10, 8.45am - 2pm in the One Stop Shop, Kirkton Street, Carluke; Monday July 13, 8.45am - 2pm – One Stop Shop, South Vennel Offices, Lanark; and Tuesday, July 14, 8.45am -noon – One Stop Shop, 57 Hawkwood Terrace, Forth.

For more information on Consumer and Trading Standards go to: http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/200160/trading_standards_and_consum