Falling victim to scams can leave people feeling embarrassed and reluctant to come forward – but two events planned in Chichester and Arun this month hope to change that.
Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice and West Sussex Trading Standards are teaming up to hold the public awareness sessions for the national Scams Awareness campaign, which encourages people to report and talk about scams.
People will learn how to spot the common signs of a scam – such as receiving an offer that sounds too good to be true or being told to pay upfront for an item or service.
Residents will also be encouraged to report scams so that the police can take action and they can get advice on how to try and get their money back.
The first event takes place on Thursday, June 20, from 9.30am to 1pm at Tesco Extra Chichester.
The second takes place on Thursday, June 27, from 9.30am to 1pm at Tesco Superstore Bognor Regis.
Luca Badioli, chief executive officer of Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice, said: “Stop, report, talk: Be Scamaware – is our message to people in West Sussex.
“We’re finding that although many people have come into contact with scammers, very few people are speaking up about this issue.
“People can sometimes feel foolish or embarrassed talking about, or reporting their experiences, but sadly this means scammers are getting away scot-free.”
“In reality, all of us can have the bad luck of being targeted with a scam.
“We hope these events, together with our Scams Awareness campaign, will encourage people to share their stories and learn tips to stop scammers from running off with people’s money.”
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Falling victim to a scam can leave people feeling embarrassed and reluctant to come forward.
“Removing the stigma around scams is vital and I would urge people to come along to these events and talk about their experiences.”
Anyone in doubt about whether or not an offer is genuine should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or their local Citizens Advice.
Anyone who has been scammed should report it to Action Fraud.