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Citizens Advice Guildford Helps Residents To Combat Scams 

Published on: 29 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 3 Aug, 2015

Guildford’s Citizens Advice Bureau helped tackle seven cases last year where local people had been targeted by scams and conmen, according to new figures just released.

The numbers have been released as part of July’s Scams Awareness Month, highlighting how scams can flourish if they go unreported.

CAB 1With only 5% of people who have been scammed reporting it to the authorities, the figures are thought to be a fraction of the total number of scams targeting people in the local area.

The campaign, supported by Trading Standards, is urging people to get advice if they think they’ve been conned, and warn others to help stop scams from spreading.

Analysis of more than 20,000 scams reported across the country between April 2014 and March 2015 also reveals that different types of scam use different methods to approach people:

  • Over a third (37 per cent) of cold call scams reported to the national charity are for professional and financial services.
  • Two in five of all postal scams are lotteries or prize draws, inviting people to claim a prize for a competition they haven’t entered.
  • Four out of five doorstep scams are to do with home improvements and household services. Common scams are around central heating, insulation and roofing, to gas and electricity supplies and people posing as tree surgeons.
  • Two in five internet scams are about personal goods and services including cosmetics that never arrive, beauty treatments that aren’t what they ‘say on the tin’ and slimming pill subscription traps.

The scams seen in Guildford were varied and included internet scams where money is taken from clients’ bank accounts without authority or where clients are asked to pay money in order to secure a loan, and a scam where clients paid money to have qualifications verified.

Joan O'Byrne, manager of Guildford CAB.

Joan O’Byrne, manager of Guildford CAB.

Joan O’Byrne, Manager of Guildford CAB, said: “We’ve advised on seven scam cases in the past year but we know there are likely to be many more cons at large.

“Reporting scams is the only way to get them closed down, so we’re asking people to tell the authorities to stop others from being targeted.

“If you’ve been scammed, or you’re worried about a potential scam, there are also ways in which we can help – you can contact our office or visit the Citizens Advice website for information on your next steps.”

Twelve tell-tale signs for spotting scams

  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • If you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it.
  • You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
  • If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
  • Contacted out of the blue? – be suspicious.
  • Don’t be rushed – resist pressure to make a decision straight away.
  • Never send money to someone you have never met.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • Your bank will never attend your home to collect cash, your pin, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud.
  • Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN or your online banking password.
  • Your bank will never ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
  • Suspect a phone scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call your bank.
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.

If you spot a scam or believe you may have been scammed you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

Guildford CAB, 15 to 21 Haydon Place GU1 4LL, is open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 4pm. Thursday from 10am to 6.30pm, and Saturday from 10am to noon.

Telephone: 01483 576699.


Residents who live in the Ash area of Guildford borough can contact Ash CAB, Ash Hill Road, Ash GU12 5DP (at the rear of the Ash Centre).

It offers drop-in sessions, Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 1pm; appointments, Monday to Thursday, 1.30pm and 2.45pm; and a telephone advice service on Fridays between 10am and 1pm.

Telephone: 01252 315569.


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Responses to Citizens Advice Guildford Helps Residents To Combat Scams 

  1. Paul Robinson Reply

    July 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Got a phone call this morning from ‘Microsoft’ to help me with a computer problem they had detected. I hung up straight away.

    A few year ago I got a call VISA who wanted to send me a new credit card. They just needed to check a few details first. Was my address xxxxxxx? They told me it.

    And then they asked for my date of birth. At this point I asked for confirmation of who they were and they hung up.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I was scammed in Marks & Spencer’s by the checkout at 10am hours on a Wednesday morning.

    Nowhere is safe these days.

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