Drop them in it! – Scam Awareness at Eastgate Centre, Inverness

Throughout May, The Highland Council’s Trading Standards officers are taking part in the ‘Scamnesty 2012’ national campaign in a bid to end the scourge of mass marketed scam mailings targeting UK consumers. A focus of the campaign is to invite the public to hand over scam mailings to Trading Standards Officers and Highland consumers will get a chance to do this on Friday when officers take a presence at the Eastgate Centre, Inverness.

Startling figures show that consumers in the UK lose around £3.5 billion to scams every year. Unfortunately as the UK heads for a second recession this figure may be set to rise as consumers feel the financial pinch due to rising prices and fuel costs.  Consumers may be tempted to respond to mailings which promise either big cash prizes or get quick rich schemes as a result of either finding themselves out of work or not able to meet household bills. 

The Highland Council’s 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.

Gordon Robb, Trading Standards Manager, said: “Our scam awareness event is part of an ongoing joint campaign with concerned partners such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Stay Safe Project (Inverness) and Northern Constabulary all of whom deal with the victims and the effects of scams on a regular basis.     When Scam Awareness Month ends at the end of this month  we will collate information from the scam mailings dropped off by consumers.    The collated information from scam mailings will provide both trading standards nationally and our enforcement partners with crucial intelligence as to the type of scams targeting the UK.  This information will also inform trading standards of any new scams and tricks being devised by the scammers to get consumers to part with their money.” 

Alasdair Christie General Manager of Inverness Badenoch and Strathspey CAB added:  “We have many folk approaching the bureau seeking help, advice and information after being the victim of scams. This event will raise awareness of the issues and potential risks. It is always worth remembering 'If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!”

Highland consumers who want to take part in Highland ‘Scamnesty’ campaign can either send or drop in their ‘scam mailings’ directly to: The Highland Council Trading Standards Office, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness throughout May 2012 or visit The Highland Council Trading Standards stall on Friday, 25th May  at Eastgate Centre, Inverness.

For further information or advice about how to tackle scams concerned residents can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08456 04 05 06.

Alternatively, if you have fallen victim to a scam or know of someone who has you can visit or write to Highland Council Trading Standards, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness IV1 1UF for free and confidential advice.  For further Highland Trading Standards news please go to: http://www.highland.gov.uk

21 May 2012