65 per cent of people in the North West have been targeted by a scammer since January, new research by Citizens Advice has found.

Fraudsters tried to trick people in a range of ways, but the biggest scam faced by North West residents is delivery scams. 59 per cent of people they’d been contacted about a scam of this kind.

Many people in the North West say they’re worried that they or a loved one could fall victim to a scam, with 61 per cent saying they’re concerned this might happen.

To encourage people to report scams, share their experiences and look out for others, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Citizens Advice Cheshire West have launched their annual Scams Awareness campaign.

The Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: This month’s Scams Awareness campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness and tackle these cruel crimes.

“It’s important to spread the message that scams are crimes that can happen to anyone and we don’t need to be embarrassed if we fall victim to them.

“We are pleased to be supporting Scams Awareness Month again with Citizens Advice Cheshire West.”

Jason Bishop, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Cheshire West said: “A shocking number of people in Cheshire West and Chester have been targeted by a scammer so far this year.

“As life begins to unlock, it’s so important we all do our bit and report anything that looks like a con when we see it. By learning how scammers operate, and helping each other understand what to look out for, we can all work together to stop fraudsters in their tracks.“

To help stop more people being fleeced by these types of scams, Citizens Advice Cheshire West and Trading Standards are sharing the following tips on how to spot them.

It might be a scam if:

● it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect
● you suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address
● you’ve been pressured to transfer money quickly or in an unusual way – like by iTunes vouchers or a transfer service
● you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs
● you haven't had written confirmation of what's been agreed

If you’ve been scammed, Citizens Advice Cheshire West advise:

● talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
● report offline scams, like telephone, post and doorstep, to Citizens Advice online or by calling 0808 223 1133. Report online scams to the dedicated Scams Action service either online or on 0808 250 5050
● report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040