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Trading Standards advice on scams after bereavement

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Our Trading Standards service is advising residents to be aware of potential scams, particularly affecting families following a bereavement.

At this time, it is important to be aware and look out for family members, especially the vulnerable or elderly. Scammers will make themselves sound plausible and convincing. Our advice is not to respond to phone calls, emails or letters out of the blue. 

One scam involves someone contacting the family pretending to be a debt collector and claiming the family are responsible for the deceased's debts. They may put you under pressure to pay immediately - NEVER make a payment or give personal information over the phone. The debt may not even exist or you may not be liable, so check with Trading Standards or Citizens Advice Scotland.

Another scam is someone claiming to be an insurance agent, stating you have been left a large insurance policy but you need to make one final payment. Again, do not give them any money or bank details. Find a legitimate number for the insurance company and contact them yourself to find out more.

If you are publishing an obituary, limit the personal information you include to minimise the risk of a scammer using details to forge identities.

Funerals can be a time to reconnect with family members you have not been in contact with for some time. However, be careful of 'long lost relatives' who appear claiming they are owed something. Be sure to confirm their identity with other relatives and consult a solicitor if they insist they are owed inheritance, a debt or property.

We are aware of scammers claiming to be clairvoyants who can deliver a final message from your loved one - for a fee.

For help and advice contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or Trading Standards at tradingstandards@northlan.gov.uk.

If you think you have been targeted by a scam, report it to Police Scotland on 101.

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