Citizens Advice, Edenbridge and Westerham is spreading the word about scams to help stop more people across Edenbridge and Westerham from being conned.
The charity is taking part in Scams Awareness Month, a campaign encouraging people to report and talk about scams.
The drive to get more people reporting scams comes as national Citizens Advice reveals a 17% increase in people being scammed after purchasing ‘phantom goods’.
The scam works by conning shoppers into buying high value items, namely online, which turn out not to exist. The average loss was £1,100.
People were most likely to be scammed when buying cars, flights and furniture. Other ‘phantom goods’ included jewellery and cameras.
The Citizens Advice consumer service received 555 reports of ‘phantom goods’ scams during January and March 2017, compared with 475 over the same period the year before.
Scams operating in the local area reported to Citizens Advice, Edenbridge and Westerham over the past year include computer virus scams where a scammer calls someone up and says their computer has a virus which they can fix remotely, scam emails pretending to be from Apple, Hotmail and non-existent bank accounts
Jill Eyre, Manager of Citizens Advice Edenbridge and Westerham said: “During Scams Awareness Month we’re encouraging people to play their part in preventing scams by reporting them and telling others about them. People can also come and see us or call the Citizens Advice consumer service if they want advice on whether something is a genuine deal or a scam, or for advice if they have been scammed.”
Photo shows local adviser Sorrell Raikes spreading the word about scams