Your help needed to foil scams

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THE Roxburgh Citizens Advice Bureau has announced plans to try and stamp out local scams and dodgy deals, and is asking the Hawick public to help.

The Towerdykeside-based organisation is part of a campaign to try and foil the common scams that cost people billions of pounds every year, by urging townsfolk to take part in an online survey.

The survey is quick, simple and anonymous and aims to find out what scammers are up to locally, and which scams local people most want to see action against.

CAB manager Patricia Buckley said: “Fraudulent offers or deals – scams – cost people billions of pounds every year and cause untold misery and distress. Some of the scammers are very cunning and can catch out even the most experienced consumers.”

And revealing that they often deal with people in Hawick who have been duped, she commented; “People come in throughout the year with letters or having received phone calls, convinced that there is a bank in Nigeria, or sending money off to these organisations in the belief that they have won money, and it doesn’t come.”

She added: “People live in hope that something will come to ease their burden, and I can understand why they want to, but they need to step back and really think how likely it is.”

The survey highlights 10 common scams ranging from bogus job ads, to phantom flats and fake lottery wins. It also asks about scams that trade on cold calling and ask for up-front fees for goods and services that fail to materialise, including loans and debt management, building work and event tickets.

Mrs Buckley added: “We also want to be able to inform Trading Standards about sharp practices targeting local people, so that they have the information they need to crack down effectively on scammers.

“This survey is very important and will allow CAB Scotland to collate all the results centrally, so that with firm evidence from thousands of people, changes can be made.” To take part in the survey go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/scotlandscamscampaign