Spam emails, fraudulent alerts from 'banks' and rogue traders knocking at the door are just some of the scams that have become common place for many people.
June is National Scam Awareness Month and Thurrock's Trading Standards team is joining forces with colleagues across the country to highlight the issue and give residents the advice they need to avoid becoming victims of the criminals that perpetrate these scams.
This year's campaign – 'Don’t miss a trick, be scam aware' – raises awareness of the issue through social media by targeting the groups most likely to be the victims of scams. Research carried out by Citizens Advice found that almost three quarters of people surveyed had been targeted by a scam in the previous two years.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "Scams can affect anyone in our society. It's our duty to raise awareness of the dangers of scams, and help ensure consumers don’t become victims.
"They can leave long lasting financial and psychological distress on victims and often come with a stigma which leaves victims embarrassed and unwilling to report the crime.
"By being brave enough to report scams people can help protect others as well as help drive these scammers out of business."
Members of the public who want to report a scam should call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 – they will advise you on your legal rights and pass details to Trading Standards.