The Citizens Advice charity has warned consumers of the increasing prevalence of mail order, telephone and online scams and called on service providers to take action over the issue.
Research by the Office of Fair Trading recently found that unscrupulous activities of this kind costs UK consumers close to £3.5 billion each year and could be adding to the DEBt
debt management burden of millions of people.
Providers of internet, phone and mail services ought to be doing more to restrict consumer-focused scams, which often convince people to pay money in order to claim fictitious ‘cash prize’, Citizens Advice explains.
“Scamsters are clever and trained to convince the people they target,” said Citizens Advice consumer affairs policy officer Susan Marks.
“In one recent case, a 70-year-old visually impaired Citizens Advice client lost £100 making premium rate calls on a number he had to ring to collect fictitious ‘prizes’ he was told he had won in a series of letters. He had also sent £20 in ‘fees’.”
Hundreds of thousands of people now turn to Citizens Advice about debt issues each month in the UK, according to the organisation’s own figures.