Rogue traders and scams
Scams are dishonest ways of tricking people out of their money or getting them to pass over private information. They come in many different forms including via the post, the internet and over the telephone.
Mass marketing scams
These scams are mass-produced letters made to look like personal letters or important documents, in the hope of tricking the person who receives them into sending cash in exchange for a prize or large cash sum; making money transfers or disclosing personal information such as bank details. Remember - it is not possible to have won a prize or a cash sum for a competition or draw that has not been entered into.
You may be sent an unsolicited email encouraging you to click on a link or open an attachment which may infect your machine with a virus or direct you away from an official website. The most current internet scams concern dating, concert and event tickets and vehicle hire.
Fraudsters often contact victims via a cold telephone call. Many of these calls come from overseas and are intent on stealing personal and financial information and conning people out of their money.
The fraudsters sound convincing and may claim to represent a business you know, for example your bank. They may pressure you to act quickly, either because they want to trick you into believing you will miss a golden opportunity to make money or that you will suffer some sort of loss if you decline their offer.
Scams can be directed towards anyone but often target older and more vulnerable people who are persuaded to part with large amounts of money, sometimes over and over again.
One of the best defences is being forewarned so that you, your family, friends and neighbours can spot a scam and take appropriate action.
The Little Book of BIG Scams
The Met Police have published The Little Book of BIG Scams contains useful information on what to look out for and how to protect yourself and others.
How to report a scam
If you or someone you know receives excessive amounts of scam mail or has sent money to an postal, online or telephone scam, then call the Rapid Response Team on 07903 852090. In appropriate cases, officers from the Trading Standards Rogue Trading team will attend and investigate.
This Rapid Response Service is for Bromley residents only; if you live outside the borough, please contact your local Trading Standards Department through your local council.
Rapid response number
Tel: 07903 852090