Rushmoor Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is urging residents to be on the lookout for anyone asking for their financial details.
As part of Scam Awareness Month, which runs throughout May, Aldershot and Farnborough CAB are calling for people to be on the lookout for any website, letter, doorstep seller or phone call with a proposal that sounds too good to be true - as it could well be.
Scams come in different shapes and sizes. Examples of recent scams dealt with by Rushmoor CAB recently include two cases where clients were asked to pay additional sums of £500 and £410 in order to secure a loan – which turned out to be fraud.
In another, a client who was seeking work abroad was asked to pay £500 to secure a job through an agency, but no job appeared and he lost more than £2,400 because of a bank mandate being signed.
Other common frauds include online adverts and tricksters using dating websites to build relationships with people they later defraud, ‘phishing’ emails and phone calls designed to con people into giving away sensitive information, investment scams, and advanced fees requested to claim unexpected lottery wins.
With fewer than 5% of people in the UK reporting scams to local authorities, Rushmoor CAB has said that it is time to “fight back against scammers” to ensure they don’t get away with conning innocent people.
Councillor Jennifer Evans, social policy coordinator at Aldershot CAB, said: “Scammers can’t continue to get away with fleecing people of their hard-earned money. We want to see a fight back against scams.
“It is a disgrace that scammers often target elderly people with sophisticated scams such as posing as their bank or phone company.
"People regularly come to us with heart-breaking stories about con artists taking their money and it’s important that people know what to look out for and what they can do."
People who are in need of money or work are particularly vulnerable to scammers, who often target people with limited understanding of English.
Anyone who is unsure about someone asking for their financial details should check with someone they trust and report anything to the CAB.
Scams can also be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to help stop it happening to others.