Posted: Mon 29th Feb 2016

Merthyr Tydfil supports campaign to safeguard against scams /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 29th, 2016

Merthyr Tydfil Trading Standards Service support National Safeguarding day on 29th February encouraging everyone to take a stand against Scams this Leap year, and to raise awareness of this debilitating crime. Every year Scams contribute an average of £9 billion loss to UK consumers, not to mention the devastating psychological effects on the victims they leave behind. Merthyr Tydfil has identified 100’s of scam victims within the county. These statistics highlight the extent of the crime and the increasing support required for victims. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One of Trading Standards core priorities is to give a voice to these victims and to encourage potential victims and those who may care for them to identify, prevent and report these crimes. Anyone can be a victim of a scam, but the National Trading Standards Scams Team has revealed the average age of a victim is 74. By taking advantage of their vulnerability, criminals use a variety of deceitful methods to encourage people to part with thousands of pounds. In one instance the National Trading Standards Scams Team revealed that after months of grooming and false promises an elderly victim parted with £1 million pounds to a fake lottery scam company. Locally Merthyr Tydfil supported a victim who had lost her life savings on prize draws. Unfortunately situations such as these are common and can have shattering effects on a victim’s life. Not only can they lose their life savings but also lose the confidence to leave their home and in some instances health issues such as anxiety and depression can develop. As devastating as these incidents are Scams are massively underreported. It is estimated that roughly 1 in 20 people fall victim to scams every year, but fewer than 5% of victims report their experience. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By supporting the National Safeguarding Day, Merthyr Tydfil wants to increase reporting by raising awareness of this crime. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Through the dedication of the Local Authority and the community as a whole, victims of these crimes can be identified and get the help they need. Increased awareness will prevent the most vulnerable becoming victims and eventually the criminals responsible for so much suffering will be brought to justice ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Play your part and take a stand against scams by being aware about how to spot one. Here are some things to look out for ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • Out of the blue phone calls, letters and emails
  • Being asked to send money to claim a prize
  • Being told of winnings when a competition wasn’t entered
  • Too good to be true offers
  • Pressure selling
  • Uninvited door step callers
  • Being asked share your personal details
  • Secrecy

If you suspect a scam or think you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, please report it to the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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