AROUND two in five people in the South East have fallen victim to a scammer since lockdown began, according to research.

Citizens Advice Eastleigh have found that since the lockdown came into effect on March 23, 42 per cent of people across the South East have been the target of a scam, while over two thirds - 69 per cent - of people are worried someone they know will be targeted, and the large majority of people - 91 per cent - reported they "felt wary" of coronavirus scams.

This comes as fraudsters have been using the coronavirus pandemic to try and scam people out of pocket, by posing to be someone else on telephone calls such as a worker for the NHS Track and Trace Service.

Now, Citizens Advice Eastleigh have urged people to talk about their experiences with scammers and to look out for other people who they may think could be at risk.

Annabella Crawford, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Eastleigh said: “Our data shows that the last few months have been very difficult for a lot of people across our region. And despite this, we’ve seen appalling evidence of opportunistic scammers taking advantage of people’s worries and concerns.

"2 in 5 of local people have been targeted by a scam since lockdown began, showing we all need to be on high alert. It’s really 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 people stop falling victim to these types of scams, Citizens Advice Eastleigh is sharing tips on how best to spot them.

This includes installing a call blocker, talking to your bank immediately if any suspicious transactions occur, and reporting the scam to Citizens Advice or Action Fraud.

To see a full list of scam prevention advice, visit the Citizens Advice website.