West Lothian Council’s Trading Standards is using national Scams Awareness Month to highlight the work they have been doing with the council’s Adult Protection unit, Victim Support Scotland and Police Scotland to help people from becoming victims of fraudulent mailing scams.
During the last weeks and months, the partner agencies have been contacting people who have been identified as previously having responded to scam mail and providing them with practical advice on what to do with any future unwanted mail they receive.
As well as providing all potential victims with information leaflets, follow-up visits and telephone calls were made to those who were regarded as needing extra support.
The information and support provided was very well received, with many people now reporting they felt more confident in their ability to identify scam mail.
Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul, said: “Scam mail causes particular harm to the most vulnerable members of our communities so it’s good to see our council staff working with partner agencies in this way to help those most in need of protection.”
Each year mass marketing scams cause approximately £3.5 billion worth of detriment to UK consumers. Scams are often targeted at vulnerable members of our communities. It is known that individuals and networks behind these scams have close links to organised crime and that the proceeds are used to help fund drug dealing, people trafficking and international terrorism.
Financial Scams come in a variety of forms, letters, e-mails and phone calls and can look and sound very official. They use different methods to trick people into sending money or disclosing bank details.
For further information and advice about postal scams and criminal phone calls you can call Citizens Advice consumer services on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.thinkjessica.com
Alternatively, call Police Scotland on 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.