Bath and North East Somerset Council is warning local people to avoid becoming of victims of fraudsters. Many Bath and North East Somerset residents receive large amounts of scam mail, such as a prize draw win scam letter. The prize draw win letter states that the resident has won a sum of money and they must pay to have their prize released. In reality there is no prize, this is a way for the fraudsters take money from the resident. Trading Standards have saved victims an estimated £6,072.80 from the beginning of April to the end of June 2017.
Councillor Bob Goodman, (Conservative, Combe Down) Cabinet member for Development said, “There are many different types of Scam, such as fake lottery win letters, online scams that involves the purchase of tickets for an event such as a concert where it transpires that the tickets do not exist, telephone callers asking for peoples bank account details and doorstep scams for example rogue tradesmen turn up at your door out of the blue offering repairs, improvements or maintenance you don’t need or want. If the offer appears to be too good to be true, then it’s probably a fraud and people should ignore it and report it to the Trading Standards team”.
During July, the Trading Standards team visited a number of scam victims to offer advice on how to avoid such scams. The Trading Standards Team have also fitted call blockers for those victims who were scammed by telephone. The call blocker enables Trading Standards Team to monitor the victims calls, so that they can filter out certain calls and block certain numbers to prevent the victim being scammed over the telephone in the future.
Trading Standards Officers also gave talks to attendees at Age UK run day centres in Bath alerting them to a number of the various scams they may come across.
Advice from Trading Standards includes:
It could be a scam if:
- They are asking for money in advance;
- The call, letter, e-mail or text has come out of the blue;
- Telling the consumer they have to respond quickly so they don’t have time to talk about it with friends and family;
- Telling the consumer to keep it a secret;
- ‘Miracle’ health cures.
- Speak to family or friends;
- Sign up to mail and telephone preference service.
- If you think you’ve already responded to a scam, end all further communication immediately.
- Call your bank and cancel any recurring payments.
- Speak with Citizens Advice consumer helpline 03454 04 05 06 (Trading Standards will also be referred a copy of the complaint)
- Report the scam to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040
Bath and North East Somerset Trading Standards team run an approved trader scheme called Buy With Confidence. The members on the scheme are vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way. Should you require a business to do work at your home, service your car etc we advise you take a look at our Buy With Confidence scheme https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/
More information about Bath and North East Somerset Trading Standards can be found at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/trading-standards or should you require consumer or business advice please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.