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Protect yourself against the growing incidence of fraud

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Protect yourself against the growing incidence of fraud With recent research from charity Age Concern showing that 65% of British people have seen an increase in the number of fraudulent 'scam' emails or letters they receive, a local solicitor has highlighted some useful 'rules' to help prevent you from becoming a victim. According to Peter Butterfield of Gepp & Sons in Chelmsford, "The first rule is obvious – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Internet or postal financial scams, fake lotteries, bogus holidays or phoney job offers are just some examples of the kinds of scam out there, some of which are highly sophisticated. Unfortunately, too many people continue to take a trusting attitude, and the result is a collective annual loss in the UK of some £3.5 billion. "But almost every attempted fraud includes some warning signs – ask yourself the following questions, from the Government's Consumer Direct advice centre, before you take a step you may live to regret." • Was the offer unsolicited? • Why do I have to respond at once? What's the rush? • Do I have to make a purchase to win a prize? • Do I have to ring a premium rate number? • Do I have to give my bank or credit card details? • Is the business reluctant to give their address or contact details? • Am I being asked to keep it confidential? As Peter Butterfield comments, though, it is not always possible to spot a possible scam. If you do actually fall victim to such a scheme, you may be able to take action against the perpetrators. Feel free to call us on 01245 228131 for our advice on your chances of success." - ends - Notes to editors: • For additional information or comment please contact: Peter Butterfield of Gepp & Sons.

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