Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards team is helping to protect local people from falling victim to fraudsters.
The Council, in partnership with the National Trading Standards Scams Team, is offering vulnerable residents call-blockers to prevent nuisance callers.
The call blockers are extremely effective. Over an 18 month period 5,649 nuisance calls were made to ten local residents who had call blockers installed, just 11 got through.
Brian Gane, from Twerton, who had a call blocker fitted two years ago said: “I was inundated with nuisance calls, it was so annoying. Since I’ve had the call blocker I haven’t had one. The system is absolutely incredible!”
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards team are currently able to supply call blockers to anyone who is vulnerable.
Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down) Cabinet Member for Development and Neighbourhoods said: “Nuisance calls can be annoying and stressful. Nationally an average of 18 nuisance calls are made to people each month. However, scammers target vulnerable people; one resident received 109 such calls over just four weeks. Providing call blockers to vulnerable people is one way we can help prevent them becoming victims of fraudsters.”
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards team work in partnership with the National Trading Standards Scams Team and the Council’s Safeguarding Service to provide advice to local people on how to avoid becoming victims of fraudsters.
· fake lottery win letters
· online scams, for example 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
· doorstep scams, for example, those where rogue tradesmen turn up at your door out of the blue offering to carry out house repairs, improvements or maintenance you don’t need or want.
Advice from Trading Standards suggests:
It could be a scam if:
• They are asking you for money in advance;
• The call, letter, e-mail or text has come out of the blue;
• Asking you to respond quickly so you don’t have time to talk about it with friends and family;
• Asking you to keep it a secret;
• Offering you a ‘Miracle’ health cure.
Types of scams include:
• Lottery and prize draw scams;
• Clairvoyant scams;
• Catalogue and Brochure scams;
• Asking you to buy iTunes vouchers to pay an outstanding bill
• Computer Software Service Fraud involves victims being contacted by telephone and told that there is a problem with their computer and for a fee this can be fixed.
• 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 (Local Trading Standards will also be referred a copy of the complaint)
• Report the scam to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040
More information about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s 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.