People are being alerted to some of the most common tricks used by telephone con-artists during Scams Awareness Month.
Officers at Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service are raising awareness of the many rip-offs which affect residents and businesses in the county during May.
They estimate that thousands of local people receive unsolicited phone calls every day from criminals trying to persuade them to part with their personal and banking details, or send money away for non-existent or misdescribed goods and services.
Telephone-based scams now circulating in Lancashire include:
*The ‘Windows scam’, where a caller claims they are calling from a software company and have identified that your! personal computer has a virus; *The ‘Courier scam’, when the caller claims to be from your bank, saying there’s a problem with your card details being used by criminals and that they need to have access to your current card;
* The ‘Telephone disconnecting scam’, where the caller claims to be from a well-known telephone company and attempts to trick you into revealing bank details to settle a bogus, overdue bill.
County Councillor Janice Hanson, cabinet member for public protection, said: “If you receive a call which you’re not expecting, never give out your personal details. If you decide it’s someone you do want to speak to, ask for a contact number and check them out before ringing them back. It is a disgrace that scammers target often vulnerable people with sophisticated scams.”