ESSEX County Council is supporting National Safeguarding Day on Monday, February 29.
The authority is encouraging Essex residents to take a stand against scammers this Leap Year, and to raise awareness of the debilitating crime. Here are some things to look out for:
• Out of the blue phone calls, letters and emails
• Being asked to send money to claim a prize
• Being told of winnings when a competition wasn’t entered into
• ‘Too good to be true’ offers
• Pressure selling
• Uninvited door step callers
• Being asked share your personal details
Every year, scams and scammers dupe UK consumers out of around £9 billion, not to mention the devastating psychological effects on the victims they leave behind.
Essex County Council has identified more than 3,000 scams within the county, highlighting the extent of the crime and the increasing support needed for victims.
Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate, Communities and Customers said: “One of our core priorities is to give a voice to victims, as well as support potential targets, and those who may care for them, to identify, prevent and report these crimes.
“Anyone can be a target for scammers. However, our Trading Standards team has revealed the average age is 74.”
If you suspect a scam or think you or someone you know has been a victim, report it to the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40.
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