It’s Fraud Week. That may not engender quite the same excitement as, I don’t know, Finals Week at Wimbledon or Movie Week on Strictly, but it’s still a big deal. Fraud Week is an international event and it’s all about raising awareness of – yes, you guessed it – fraud in all its rich and varied forms, including the prize draw scam.
So if you want to educate yourself about prize draw scams and learn how to avoid them, what can you do? Back in 2017 the Prizeology blog had a guest post from Laura Harris of the National Trading Standards Scam Team on how to spot a prize draw scam. Granted, it’s a while ago, but Laura’s advice still stands, so start there.
I would also refer you to the pithy Prizeology publication, Scam Savvy: How not to fall for a prize draw scam, which is freely downloadable. It’s relevant to everyone, but particularly young people. In fact, we created this short guide because we did some serious research into scams and discovered that young people can be just as vulnerable to scams as older people.
For me, this really emphasised the point that anyone can fall for a scam – the scammers and fraudsters are smart and sophisticated – and if you do find yourself in that unfortunate position, for goodness sake don’t berate yourself.
Obviously we all need to take responsibility for our ‘personal safety’ by checking that the prize draws we enter are genuine, and keeping our passwords and personal details safe, but if they do catch you out, please don’t feel ashamed about it and don’t feel embarrassed either.
Prizeology is part of the excellent Friends Against Scams campaign, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a stand against scams. Anyone can get involved, so have a look at what Friends Against Scams is doing and how you might be able to make a difference in your community.
International Fraud Awareness Week, to give it its full title, lasts from 17 to 23 November and I’d also encourage you to have a look at its website. There are lots of useful resources, including a quiz (I don’t mind telling you I scored pretty highly, as befits my status as a Scambassador!) and at this time of year, with Black Friday and Christmas coming up, it will definitely pay to be aware of fraud and how to protect yourself against it.
Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist and a National Trading Standards Scams Team Scambassador.