Ken Skates AM has joined forces with Age Cymru to support Scams Awareness Month, which aims to highlight the types of swindles being used by criminals to steal money.
Age Cymru say there are four basic types – online, telephone, post and doorstep.
Mr Skates, the Labour Assembly Member for Clwyd South, said: “Sadly, many elderly people in particular fall victim to these scams.”
Research has revealed that more than 2,500 scams were reported to Trading Standards departments in Wales between February 2012 and February 2013. The figure could be the tip of the iceberg, however, as the Office of Fair Trading believes only 5% of scams are reported – meaning that 50,000 such crimes could have been committed.
Mr Skates said: “Scammers use speed and surprise to trick people, and I would encourage residents in Clwyd South to take the time to make themselves aware of the risks and methods involved. That is why Scams Awareness Month is so important.
“I welcome Age Cymru’s campaign to raise awareness among elderly people and would urge everyone to follow their advice to avoid falling foul of this unscrupulous fraudsters.”
Age Cymru’s top tips are:
• Never buy anything on the doorstep, even if you are pressured
• Never give strangers your bank account or credit card details
• Don’t fall for direct marketing letters that claim you have won a fortune
• Don’t be conned by hard luck e-mails from abroad
• Use reputable local traders for work on your house or garden
• Lonely hearts scammers want cash, not love
• Avoid ‘investment opportunities’ from cold callers, especially by phone
• Destroy/shred financial letters before throwing them away
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, call Fraud Action on 0300 123 2040.