VICTIMS of scammers and tricksters are being encouraged to report their experience and not suffer in silence.

A recent National Audit Office report revealed that the average financial loss to scam victims aged between 75-79 years old is £4,500.

But Monmouthshire County Council’s Trading Standards team said no-one was immune from being scammed – scams are widespread and can be sophisticated, and any age group can be affected.

While there is an obvious financial detriment attached to scams, there can also be longer term and equally detrimental impacts on people’s self-esteem.

Cllr Sara Jones said: “Although many people have come into contact with scammers, very few people are speaking up about this issue. People can sometimes feel foolish or embarrassed talking about or reporting their experiences, but sadly this means scammers are getting away scot-free.”

And Monmouthshire's Trading Standards manager Gareth Walters had some tips for consumers:

  • If a deal sounds too good to be true it often is – err on the side of caution and don’t make a snap decision.
  • If you haven’t heard of a company, do some research through customer review sights and testimonials to check they’re legitimate.
  • If you are at all unsure about the business you’re dealing with, do not provide your bank account details.

If you’re worried that someone you know has become victim to a scam, look out for the following. Are they:

  • Receiving more mail than usual?
  • Receiving unsolicited calls or spending more time on the phone?
  • Struggling with money or have they withdrawn large amounts of cash recently?

If you think someone you know is being scammed, take the following steps:

  • If you’re worried about telephone scams look into installing a call blocker
  • Encourage them to tell their bank immediately if there is any suspicious activity or transactions from their account or credit cards
  • If they’re struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts encourage them to visit their local Citizens Advice

You can also take the following steps to safeguard yourself and others:

  • Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise
  • Never send money to someone you’ve never met
  • Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you
  • Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away and if you feel pressured say “no”
  • Suspect a scam? Hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call
  • Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams
  • If people are in doubt about whether or not an offer is genuine, they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 05 (Welsh language) or 03454 04 05 06 (English language) or their local Citizens Advice.

If people have been scammed they should report it to Action Fraud.

Find out more information about how to stop, report and talk about scams by visiting

or calling in to your local Citizens Advice office.