How to Avoid Scams

Targeting scams in the community is an essential part of the Trading Standards departments as they by definition prevent fair and legal trade. Therefore, websites concerning Trading Standards departments usually give advice on how to spot or avoid scams in trade. Various scams include:

  • Advertising scams – which involves fake publishers targeting smaller businesses telling them that they will advertise in their company in their magazine for a large sum of money. Trade standards departments advise not agreeing to advertisement unless they are sure they trust the advertisers
  • Cold calling scams – this is where a company will receive a phone call from a fictional company requesting to do business. It is recommended that companies first research the cold-caller’s company and request information to prove it is legitimate
  • Email scams – usually involves a bogus email stating the company needs to send their money to an unnamed third party as opposed to the company you are supposedly doing business with
  • New law scams – usually involves a company receiving an email or letter stating that new laws or regulations requires a ‘registration’ fee for certain types of companies
  • Final warning scams – usually involves a company receiving a ‘final warning’ from a bogus company that need to pay a bogus fee to avoid having legal action taken against them

Scams can affect both businesses and consumers and thus, educating the public on how to avoid them reduces fraud in the economy. Consumers easily fall for scams as they are simply not educated on how to spot them and this is especially noticeable in the more vulnerable and naïve demographics of society.