Outcome of Scams Week
The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading (‘the OFT’) was pleased with the response of consumers and agencies to the recently held “Scams” Week.
Consumer Advisers gave talks to charities, community groups and government officials working with the vulnerable as well as talking to residents at some of the sheltered housing complexes around the Island. They also gave interviews on Island radio stations.
The Isle of Man Constabulary supported the week and the Crime Prevention Officer; Mike Radcliffe attended some of the events.
The Week proved to be valuable to the Consumers Advisers as well as to those who attended the talks. The Advisers were given a clear picture of the types of “scams” and how “scam” contacts were made by the fraudsters.
Phyllipa Chadwick, Consumer Adviser thanked all those who attended the talks and supported the Office in putting out its message on “scams”. She said “We were delighted with the response we received and the interest shown. We hope that through our talks and the coverage the issue has received in the media that all consumers have a better understanding of how to protect themselves against “scams” and where to obtain future information as necessary.”
The Advice Centre Manager Andrea Tabb commented “Consumers told us during the week that the majority of “scam” contacts they have received of late are by telephone or e-mail. This does not mean that “scam” mail will not be widely used again in the future and consumers should always be wary of any contact which offers them something for little or no effort on their part.”
Andrea would like to make consumers aware of the current favorite “scams” which they should look out for:-
Microsoft Windows - consumers are contacted out of the blue by telephone callers claiming to be from Microsoft Windows and advising that they are ringing to warn consumers that there is a problem with their computer – usually a virus. Before long the discussion turns to how much they will charge them to sort it out. They ask consumers to give them their bank account/credit card details with the inevitable result that that account is then cleared out.
Bogus Parcel Delivery Cards - consumers will receive a card in the post, or may even receive a text message, advising them of the pending delivery of a parcel which must be arranged by phoning a specified telephone number. The telephone number concerned could be a premium rate one and victims of the scams will often incur high charges by phoning the number. They may get an automated message or if they do speak to a human being that person may wish to know personal details which it would be wiser not to supply. If you are not expecting a parcel be wary – check with family and friends if they have sent anything to you or you haven’t ordered something you have forgotten about.
Remember – if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
For further information on protecting yourself against scams visit www.gov.im/oft/scams.xml, call us on 686500 or visit our Office in Lord Street Douglas.