Citizens Advice and Trading Standards helps people get clued up on spotting scams


Our Trading Standards team will be out and about throughout Scam Awareness Month.

Plymouth City Council’s Trading Standards team are holding events throughout June to help people know when they’ve been targeted with a scam.

The event is part of Scams Awareness Month in June 2018, a national campaign encouraging people to report and talk about scams.

People will learn about the common signs of a scam, such as receiving an offer that sounds too good to be true or being told to pay an advance fee for an item or service.

Attendees will also be encouraged to report scams so that the police can take action and they can get advice on how to try and get their money back. The following events are taking place during June:

Date Venue Time
Monday 4 June New George Street 10am – 2pm
Tuesday 12 June Plymouth Central Library 11am – 1pm
Thursday 14 June New George Street 10am – 2pm
Wednesday 20 June New George Street 10am – 2pm

Trading Standards will also be giving awareness training to a variety of Community Groups throughout Plymouth during the entire month of June. They will also be highlighting local case studies, for example a woman who lived in Plymouth and was conned out of thousands of pounds by a man she met online who claimed he needed £4000 for his daughter’s medical fees.

Councillor Sally Bowie Cabinet Member Customer Focus and Community Safety:

“Anyone can be a victim of this however these scammers deliberately prey on the vulnerable and isolated, often elderly people and once they send money or provide their personal and private information, their name is added to a scams list which is sold to other criminals and they are retargeted.”

Fraud Unit Manager for Devon and Cornwall Police Neil Blackhurst said: “Always beware of cold callers whether to your home, by telephone or by email. If what these individuals are offering looks too good to be true, it usually is.

“This also applies to institutions such as banks and the police, who fraudsters regularly impersonate.

“The fraudsters can appear plausible and persistent. If you are talking to anyone who is asking you to do something, always speak to someone you trust first like a family member, a friend or trading standards and get that advice before you do anything. Any offer that is legitimate will wait for you to seek advice first.

“If using a telephone, always wait a minute after you have disconnected the call before making another call.

“Take a look at the Action Fraud website and see the current trends in scams and historical ones.

“If you think you have been scammed or are being scammed, call trading standards or the police.

“You can contact the Action Fraud telephone: 0300 1232 040.”

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“‘Don’t miss a trick, be scams aware’ is our message to people.

“While there might be new scams cropping up all the time, the tactics of scammers remain the same. From getting contacted out of the blue to being pressured to sign up to a deal on the spot, our event will reveal the tell-tale signs of a scam that people need to keep an eye out for.

“While all of us can have the bad luck of being targeted with a scam, we hope this event will stop more scammers from running off with people’s money.”

Further information

Find out more at https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/tradingstandards/scamsawareness  

If people are in doubt about whether or not an offer is genuine, they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service or their local Citizens Advice.

If people have been scammed they should report it to Action Fraud.

For more information including local case studies contact Chris Gomm on 01752 307898 or email chris.gomm@plymouth.gov.uk

Plymouth Trading Standards

Tina.powell@plymouth.gov.uk

Tracy.birnie@plymouth.gov.uk

Scams Awareness Month is run by the Consumer Protection Partnership. Formed in April 2012, the CPP brings together key partners within the consumer landscape to better identify, prioritise and coordinate collective action to tackle detriment more effectively than they could through working in isolation.