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UKIP MS urges constituents to be aware of scammers during COVID-19

NEIL Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales is urging his constituents to beware of fraudsters during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, is backing the Citizens Advice’s annual Scams Awareness campaign which runs from June 15 – 28.

This year’s focus is on raising awareness of the scams which have emerged as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and knowing what to do if you spot a scam.
Mr Hamilton said:

“Whilst the current crisis brings out the best in most people, sadly there are those who see it is an opportunity to take advantage of others. Please will everyone be extra vigilant.

“There have been reports of Coronavirus related scams all over Wales and the elderly and vulnerable are particularly at risk. I fully support this campaign and help to raise awareness.

“It is a sad fact that research shows that half of those in Wales who are classed as vulnerable have been contacted by scammers.

“It is vital to be on your guard. Whether receiving emails pretending to be from a government support scheme, or someone knocking on doors offering fake services to those shielding, you need to be on the lookout for potential scams.

“If you receive a message asking for any personal or bank details you should delete it immediately. It will be fraudulent. Do not, under any circumstances, send any personal details if you receive an unsolicited email.

“Also, it is important to remember not to accept services from strangers who ask for cash upfront or a credit card pin. During this difficult time, when so many people are self-isolating, it is hard not to accept help from others but we all need to ‘Be Scam Aware’.”

Citizens Advice research has found that 19% of people in Wales have been a target of a scam since lockdown. It is often the most vulnerable who are targeted, for example 50% of those at an “increased risk of coronavirus” had been contacted by scammers. The majority of people, 64% say they are worried someone they know will fall foul of a con.

This year protecting people against scams is more important than ever. The coronavirus crisis means more people are facing issues – from employment and debt, to housing and health – resulting in more people being in vulnerable situations. Added to this, the overall heightened uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic is making everyone more vulnerable and more likely to fall victim to a scam. Empowering the public against scams is crucial during these uncertain times.
Scams are crimes which can happen to anyone and we can all take a stand to help stop them. There are actions we can all to report them, share stories and raise awareness of scams to safeguard ourselves and others.
Citizens Advice runs the Scams Awareness campaign in close collaboration with the Consumer Protection Partnership. This brings together key partners in the consumer landscape to identify, prioritise and coordinate collective action to tackle detriment.
Partners include Trading Standards service and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS.
If you have any campaign enquiries please email campaigns@citizensadvice.org.uk

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