Cambridgeshire County Council is calling for residents to be on the lookout for any website or email with a proposal that sounds too good to be true "“ because it might very well be a scam.

The message comes as the Council's Supporting Businesses and Communities Service takes part in Scams Awareness Month. This year's theme is Don't be Rushed, Don't be Hushed and this week the campaign is focussing on online and email scams. They can come in all different shapes and sizes and can include online shopping and auction scams as well as phishing emails. In 2013, online shopping and auction scams were the most common reported fraud costing UK consumers £63.3million.

Cambridgeshire County Council's Acting Head of Supporting Businesses and Communities Aileen Andrews, said: "Scams come in a variety of ways. National statistics show that the main channel used is web/email "“ 30%. Internet shoppers can get lured into buying non-existent cars, mobile phones, pets or anything else you can buy online. Scammers use a range of tricks including bogus websites, spoofed payment services and a nasty new variation called "˜second chance offers' tempting losing bidders with bogus opportunities."

For further advice on scams contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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