Drop in and drop them in it – Highland Council Trading Standards Scam Watch Campaign launched.

Throughout February 2010, Highland Council Trading Standards are taking part in the ‘Scamnesty 2010’ national campaign in a bid to end the scourge of mass marketed scams mailings targeting UK consumers. 

The ‘Scamnesty’ national campaign, organised by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), is entering its third year.  Its launch date is the 1st February 2010 and the campaign will run until 26th February 2010.  As part of this campaign, Highland Trading Standards Service is asking consumers to collect scam mailings they receive through their letter box during February 2010 and drop them off to specific Highland Service Point Offices throughout the area. 

Highland Trading Standards Service is just one out of over 110 trading standards services who have signed up to take part in ‘Scamnesty’ campaign this year and it is hoped that increased covered will encourage Highland consumers to take part.

Startling figures from the OFT show that nearly half of the UK adult population have been targeted by a scam at some time over the last year.  And that every year, 3.2 million adults – one in 15 people – across the country fall victim to a scam involving deceptive unsolicited mailings, phone calls, or emails, which are designed to con consumers out of their cash.

Consumers in the UK lose around a staggering £3.5 billion to scams every year.

Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee said: “Consumers may be tempted to respond to mailings which promise either big cash prizes or get quick rich schemes, if they find themselves out of work or not able to meet household bills. Our
Trading Standards Officers are urging consumers to stop, think and then think again before they send money off or respond to these types of mailings.” 

Glenys Brown, Highland Council Trading Standards Officer added: “We want the public to get involved in the ‘Scamnesty’ campaign and we are therefore asking consumers to drop off their scam mailings to us either directly at our offices or through specifically signposted Highland Council Service Point Offices situated throughout the Highland area.” 

Those Highland Council Service Point Offices taking part will display an eye catching yellow and red poster with the campaign slogan “Drop in and drop them in it” and each office will provide either a ‘Scamnesty’ bin or for smaller offices a ‘Scamnesty’ envelope so consumers can drop off their scam mailings.

Glenys further explains:  “Scam Awareness Month will end on 26th February 2010 when we will collate all the findings of the mailing scams dropped off by consumers.  This collated information will provide both the OFT and trading standards nationally with crucial intelligence as to the type of scams targeting the UK.  It also informs trading standards of any new scams and tricks being devised by the scammers to get consumers to part with their money.” 

Highland consumers who want to take part in Highland ‘Scamnesty’ campaign can either send or drop in their ‘scam mailings’ directly to:

Highland Council Trading Standards Office, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness or to the following Highland Council Service Point Offices in:

Consumers can contact Highland Council Trading Standards Service on 01463 228700 for advice on scam mailings or if they have become a victim of a scam. 

27 Jan 2010