The office of Fair Trading (OFT) has reported today that almost 10 per cent of British adults have fallen foul of unscrupulous scam artists.
Half of the people brave enough to admit being duped lost more than £50 while one in 20 lost more than £5,000.
According to the BBC, more than 6,500 particularly gullible punters are on a 'suckers list' which is regularly distributed between fraudsters.
Fraud costs UK residents an average of £621 per adult and, surprisingly, the worst cases are still carried out by real people using telephones as their first point of contact.
Most are illegal off-shore companies which are not covered by UK rules and regulations.
The OFT is urging people to be sceptical about offers coming out of the blue, and their advice pretty much boils down the age old adage that, if it seems to be too good to be true, it almost certainly is.