Search

Scammers still chasing vulnerable people for cash across Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 12:07 07 August 2017

Vulnerable people continue to be targeted by scams. Picture: David Jones/PA Wire

Vulnerable people continue to be targeted by scams. Picture: David Jones/PA Wire

Well over 100 scams have been reported to trading standards in Suffolk in three months as the county continues to suffer from a national epidemic of fraudsters trying to con vulnerable people out of their money.

The figure emerged as national statistics from the Local Government Association (LGA) showed that fraud – including scams – was the most common type of crime reported to trading standards across Britain.

Suffolk Trading Standards has received about 130 reports of scams since April. The service is working with the National Scams Project which launched a three-month drive against the fraudsters in November 2015 – but has seen the work continue for nearly two years now. The average age of victims was 79.

In the last three months Suffolk officers have contacted 125 victims who were identified via the National Project and visited or advised by phone more than 70 people.

Since starting the scams project 20 months ago, the department has contacted more than 1,600 victims and removed over 500kg of scam products from consumer’s homes.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “This campaign was designed to last three months (from November 2015 to February 2016) but the department has just kept on getting the calls – there are three calls every two working days still.”

The LGA has appealed to anyone who comes across a scam to report it – it is estimated that scams cost UK householders £10bn a year but as few as 5pc may actually be reported to the authorities.

National Trading Standards prosecuted a man from Essex and his company who misled 102 disabled people into paying £49 a time for Blue Badge parking permits, normally bought from local councils for £10, using copycat websites.

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Councils are receiving reports of scams every day from victims whose confidence and trust in people has been shattered, leaving them anxious and scared of being targeted and harassed again.

“It’s important that victims don’t suffer in silence or feel embarrassed. By reporting a scam, people can help someone else avoid being a victim and help councils track down the fraudsters, bring them to justice.”

Beware of scams

Suffolk Trading Standards has released details about the types of scam mail people in the county have received, in a bid to raise awareness and stamp out the crime.

Residents were sent fraudulent letters about fake lotteries, prize draws, miracle cures, bogus predictions and get rich quick schemes.

This is before taking into account phone trickers and doorsteppers, with con artists often preying on older people who may be vulnerable and alone.

Many people will be all too familiar with the dreaded PPI refund or “you have been in a traffic accident” call.

During a three month period between November 2015 and February 2016, almost 1,500 people in Suffolk fell victim to a scam.

Nationally, this figure stood at more than 19,500, with a reported funds loss of £20,593,040.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other news

12 minutes ago

A double whammy of roadworks close to Lowestoft’s Bascule Bridge lasting a total of 15 weeks will cause “chaos” for drivers and traders in the run-up to Christmas, businesses have warned.

10:24

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after coming into collision with a camper van during the morning rush hour.

12 minutes ago

An energy services company has put a £250,000 vote of confidence into a Lowestoft industrial estate where it hopes to create a new business hub.

13:17

Police are appealing for witnesses after a Range Rover was forced off the road by a driver going the wrong way.

Most Read

Yesterday, 21:08

Police are investigating the death of a man in the Lowestoft town centre.

Read more
James Paget Hospital
10:24

A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after coming into collision with a camper van during the morning rush hour.

Read more
James Paget University Hospital
Yesterday, 11:58

A new restaurant, beach huts, public toilets and fitness and play areas and more could be on the way to Lowestoft as part of a radical redevelopment.

Read more
Lowestoft Town Council
Saturday, September 22, 2018

A teenager was arrested after being found in possession of a knife in Lowestoft.

Read more
Lowestoft Police
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Details of a third arson attack involving a makeshift petrol bomb have come to light as police increase patrols.

Read more

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 4°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy