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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 23:03 GMT 00:03 UK
Fighting scams takes to the web
Keyboard and monitor
Consumers will be able to get help over the internet
Consumers who think that they may be the victim of a scam can get government advice on what to do over the internet.

The website, operated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will alert consumers to new scams and offer tips on avoiding them.

In addition, information will be available on more mundane issues such as returning goods to shops or taking a tradesman to a small claims court.

The DTI said its Consumer Direct site will act as a one-stop advice shop.

The best way of tackling scammers is to hit them where it hurts: their wallet
Gerry Sutcliffe, consumer minister

Britons hand over tens of millions of pounds every year to people operating scams, estimates say.

Often scams go unreported because the victims are too embarrassed to come forward.

The scam section of the website will offer advice on the following:

  • New scams which have come to light
  • Tips on spotting a scam
  • How to avoid unwanted sales calls, faxes and emails
  • Saying no to doorstep callers
  • Where to report scams


Consumer minister Gerry Sutcliffe said the website would prove a key tool in the fight against scams.

"The best way of tackling scammers is to hit them where it hurts - their wallet."

"If we can help consumers become more knowledgeable about potential pitfalls and how to protect themselves, they are less likely to be duped into handing over their money."

The launch of the website coincides with the start of National Consumer Week.

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