Scams Awareness Goes on the Road
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been carrying out a number of “anti-scam” awareness events, offering advice and support to people across the Island on how to avoid being “scammed”.
The programme of events has included talks to community groups and residents of sheltered housing complexes. Members of the Isle of Man Constabulary have also been working jointly with staff from the OFT to raise awareness of scams as part of their “Brew with a Bobby” sessions.
A “scam” is an attempt to cheat you out of your money. Scammers operate through all forms of communication – telephone calls, emails, social media, text messages and letters; and they target people of all ages and circumstances.
Sometimes “scams” are very obvious and are easily spotted – you may have had an email from an African prince offering you a financial reward to help him move money from his home country and asking for your bank details. However, most scams are far more subtle and difficult to assess. They can appear professional and official and claim to be from your bank. They may even stay in contact with you over several months to build up a relationship of trust before then asking for money or personal details.
As part of the campaign, staff from the OFT joined the Mobile Family Library to take the Scams Awareness message on the road. This initiative was well received by users of the library service.
Sandra Henderson, Librarian in Charge, from the Mobile Family Library said: “It was a very worthwhile campaign and was an excellent way of getting the information about scams out into the community and also the other services which the Office of Fair Trading offers. We have since given out leaflets regarding the OFT services to members of our Home Library Service as an extension of the OFT scams awareness programme. We are an information service as well as a library and welcome initiatives such as this.”
The OFT wishes to thank everyone who has helped with its campaign, allowed the use of their premises and shown support for the promotion of the “anti-scams” message. If you, a family member or friend has been the victim of a scam, please call the OFT on 686500 for assistance. Further information on “scams” can be found on the OFT website
The main thing to remember is - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!