Friends Against Scams

Friends Against Scams Image

Dundee City Council has become a Friends Against Scams organisation in a bid to prevent any more local people falling victim to con artists.

Council staff will be taking part in new training sessions in a bid to spot and stop scams.

The scheme is run by National Trading Standards, and provides members with information and training on scams and dealing with victims.

The proliferation of scams, including junk mail, nuisance calls, doorstep callers and online, means that everyone needs to be aware of the warning signs.

Research shows that 53% of those over 65 have been targeted, so it is important for friends and relatives to have the knowledge to help.

Once a willing victim is uncovered then the scammers will return again and again. Victims often feel too embarrassed to complain to either police or trading standards.

Councillor Alan Ross, community safety and public protection convener, said: “The message here is don’t be afraid to speak out – without the public acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the authorities these crimes will go undetected.

“No one should suffer in silence. This only helps confidence tricksters get away with it. If in doubt contact Trading Standards.”

Raymond Lynch, Trading Standards Manager said: “By the time we are alerted to a scam it’s often too late- the money has gone.

“This is a national problem that shows no sign of abating- don’t feel ashamed if you’ve been scammed- the old adage of a ‘problem shared’ comes into play here- our officers are trained to be attentive to the needs of victims- support and lifting the burden are key. If you have any concerns then please contact 03454040506 for confidential support.”

The sharp end of this practice was brought home to a local pensioner recently. After being referred to Trading Standards from his local bank it became apparent that over a 12 month period a local pensioner had lost his savings to scammers.

The pensioner, who does not want to be identified, said “It all started with being cold called on the telephone by criminals who promised me excellent returns on my savings. Once I made the first contract then I must have been approached by at least 20 similar companies all promising me the earth. I appreciate that in retrospect I was gullible but at the time I was just trying to safeguard my money for my family. Eventually I was made aware by my bank that I was maybe being targeted by scammers and now Trading Standards are looking in to it. “

More information on spotting scams is available at: https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/elearning/Dundee

If you feel you are the potential victim  of a scam please contact Trading Standards on  03454040506.

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