69% of People in the South West Targeted by a Scammer So Far in 2021

Sixty-nine per cent of people in the South West have been targeted by a scammer since January, new research by Citizens Advice has found.

Fraudsters tried to trick locals in a range of ways, but the biggest scam faced by local people is delivery scams. 55% of people in the area said they’d been contacted about a scam of this kind.

Many people in the South West say they’re worried that they or a loved one could fall victim to a scam, with 66% saying they’re concerned this might happen.

More than 600 instances of fraud and cyber related crime in Devon and Cornwall were reported to Action Fraud every month last year.

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

Gill Pipkin, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Cornwall said:

“A shocking number of people in our region 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 Cornwall is 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 Cornwall 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


Notes to editors:

  1. Opinium surveyed a representative sample of 2,086 adults living in the UK. The sample was weighted to be nationally representative of the UK. Fieldwork took place between 21 and 25 May 2021. Respondents were asked:
    1. Question 1: Since the beginning of the year (1 January 2021), have you been contacted by anyone that you think was trying to scam you? Please select all that apply. Answers: Yes – but I ignored it/didn’t fall victim; Yes – I fell for it; No – to the best of my knowledge I have not been contacted by any scammers; Don’t know/can’t remember
    2. Question 2: What kind of scam were you targeted by? Please specify all that apply. Answers: Deliveries and parcels; Government or civil expenses; Banking; Other consumer issues; Investment; Health or medical; Pension; Holidays; Employment; Other
    3. Question 3: How worried, if at all, are you about you, or someone close to you (such as your friends, family or neighbours) falling victim to scams? Answers: Yes – extremely worried; Yes – very worried; Yes – somewhat worried; No – not at all worried; Don’t know
  2. Scams Awareness is an annual campaign which aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who know what to do when they see a scam. This year’s campaign will take place over two weeks, from the 14th – 27th June. The campaign includes a range of organisations across the Consumer Protection Partnership, including Trading Standards, the Department for Business Energy and Infrastructure, and Citizens Advice Scotland.