Scam aware advice - raise the issue with friends and family

Published Monday, 2 July 2018

Trading Standards have been supporting the Scams Awareness campaign to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams and be ‘scam aware’.

As part of this initiative, the council has appointed Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement as a SCAMbassador. SCAMbassadors are part of the national friends against scams network which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams and they have pledged to help raise the profile of scams.

Scams come in many different forms, by post, on the internet, through telephone calls and on the doorstep and they all want to trick victims out of cash or their personal information. Research shows that the average victim loses about £1,000 to scams but some have lost their homes, their life savings and many thousands of pounds. Scams aren’t just an inconvenience to people, aside from the financial loss, they can cause distress, misery and even if a scam has been avoided, it can lead to loss of self-confidence.

“We know this whole issue is under-reported and also causes a great deal of distress. We are encouraging residents to come forward and contact the Citizens Advice consumer hotline if they suspect they have been target of a scam. Please do talk to your friends and relatives to help make them aware of the issues,” said Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement.

Councillor Lymer added, “On the doorstep crime front, with the weather getting better, we are aware that there is an increase in gardeners and ‘tree surgeons’ knocking on doors offering to carry out work. We do not recommend accepting offers of work on the doorstep. Please, if you are concerned that you or a neighbour has been targeted by a doorstep trader, call the council’s Trading Standards Rapid Response for advice.”

Members of voluntary groups, Resident Associations and clubs are advised that the council’s Trading Standards team can visit their group to train group members to recognise the signs of a scam. Interested groups can get in touch to arrange an advice session by emailing trading.standards@bromley.gov.uk

The Trading Standards team are aware of scams that affect people in the borough but many go unreported so people are encouraged to talk to their family, friends and neighbours if they think they may have been targeted and report it to Citizens Advice on 0345 040506.

Rogue Traders are generally those who cold call someone at home, i.e. knock without invitation, and often exploit the vulnerable by convincing them to pay for shoddy or incomplete repair work, and charging extortionate fees for their services. Sometimes residents can also be threatened if they do not comply. If you or somebody you know is affected by rogue traders or a scam get the advice, support and assistance you need by calling the council’s Trading Standards Rapid Response team on 07903 852090.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk