Bogus computer viruses the most common reported scam in Salisbury

Salisbury in top 5 scam hotspots in England and Wales

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Wiltshire Citizens Advice in Salisbury is calling for people to be on their guard against scams after the area was revealed as one of the top scam hotspots in England and Wales.
Analysis of 5,000 scams reported to the national Citizens Advice consumer service between January and March 2016 show the areas where people are most likely to report scams, and the different methods scammers use to con people out of their cash.
The research looked at the 102 main postal areas in England and Wales and found the top areas where the most scams were reported per person.
Salisbury came in fifth place for scam hotspots after residents reported 31 cases to the Citizens Advice consumer service in the first three months of this year.
Scam methods identified by Citizens Advice included up-front payments, where people were asked to pay for a service which never materialises, and fake services, such as telling people their computer had a virus which can be fixed remotely.
There were eight counts of this latter scam reported in Salisbury, making it the most popular scam.
The top three scam types running in the local area were:
     10 cases of fake services - Fraudsters charge people for a service that isn’t real or doesn’t exist.
     6 cases of upfront payment fees - Victims pay for a service which they never receive.
     5 cases of goods not received - Victims pay for a product which they never receive.
The average loss for victims in Salisbury was £537 per victim compared to a national average loss of £2,500.
During Scams Awareness Month, which has been running all through July, Wiltshire Citizens Advice has been informing residents how to spot a scam and what to do if they’ve been targeted. People are being urged to follow a three-step rule - get advice, report it, and tell others about it.
Kirsty Field, Head of Service Delivery at Wiltshire Citizens Advice, said:
 “Getting scammed can cost you dearly.
“Fraudsters have plenty of tricks up their sleeves so Salisbury residents can’t be too vigilant. Scams Awareness Month aims to give people the confidence to spot scams more easily and speak up to stop others being caught out.
“Any residents who would like a second opinion about an offer they’ve received should contact their local Citizens Advice in Salisbury or the consumer service. If anyone suspects they’ve been a victim of a scam, they should go straight to Action Fraud.”
Citizens Advice top five tips for spotting scams include:
1.    Don’t be rushed into making an immediate decision.
2.    If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
3.    Contacted out of the blue – be suspicious.
4.    Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN or your online banking password.
5.    Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
Anyone worried about a scam can contact their local Citizens Advice in Salisbury,
call the consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or visit citizensadvice.org.uk.

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