People across Staffordshire are being urged to spot the signs of scams, report them and look out for those who may become victims.
Led by Citizens Advice, and backed by Staffordshire County Council trading standards team, a campaign is aiming to inform people of the types and extent of con tricks which pose a threat to people’s finances and wellbeing.
Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to scammers though it is thought less than five per cent report them. In addition to the financial cost, scams also cause emotional trauma and loss of confidence to victims.
Common scams include doorstep double glazing sales, online investment offers, bogus bank calls asking for personal details, online job adverts asking for an upfront fee, offers for goods and services and fake prize draw winnings.
Tony Shaw, the Trading Standards Manager at the County Council, said: "Scams are one of those areas that are changing all the time, and the people behind them are very sophisticated in they way they operate them.
"Often telling them apart from from a genuine firm is quite a challenge.
"They will come across as being professional and trustworthy.
"People need to trust their instincts on it really.
"If you get a phone call from someone offering you a holiday that is cheap, or maybe a knock on the door from someone saying you have slates loose and they can fix them straight away at a good rate - those are the types of things you need to be aware of."
He says that the impact on victims of scams can be more than just financial.
"It knocks your confidence and in some severe cases can affect your mental wellbeing," he added.
"It can send people into depression, especially if they are vulnerable people."
People can find out more about being scams aware at https://www.citizensadvice.