People power helps trading standards crackdown on scams

Posted on Thursday 28th January 2010 at 9:39 pm by SH (Editor)

The people of South Gloucestershire are being urged to help end the scourge of mass marketed scam mailing, by taking part in a nationwide Scamnesty campaign.

South Gloucestershire Council is backing the Office of Fair Trading campaign, which runs throughout February, by encouraging its residents to collect any scam mailing they receive and drop them into designated Scamnesty bins located in all One Stop Shops and most libraries. A full list of locations is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/Scamnesty.

The Scamnesty bins will provide valuable new intelligence to the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards Services and help inform future investigations which will prevent others from being scammed.

Cllr Heather Goddard, the council’s executive member for communities, said: “Every day people are at risk from unscrupulous fraudsters who want to con them out of their cash. We are aware of a number of local victims who have lost hundreds of pounds to such mailings. By dropping your scam mailing into your local Scamnesty bin you will help provide crucial intelligence to support Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading stopping these scams which bring misery to millions of people every year.”

Nearly half of the UK adult population has been targeted by a scam. Every year, 3.2 million adults – one in 15 people – across the country fall victim to a scam involving deceptive unsolicited mailings, phone calls, or emails, which are designed to con victims out of their cash. UK consumers lose around a staggering £3.5billion to scams every year.

Last year the campaign revealed that the top 5 mass marketed scam mailings in the UK at that time were deceptive sweepstakes, misleading prize draws, fake clairvoyants, bogus foreign lotteries and ‘miracle’ health cures.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, call Consumer Direct for clear, practical advice on 08454 04 05 06.

Consumers can report all types of scams on the Consumer Direct website.

Source: South Gloucestershire Council

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