Duncan Lewis

Legal Aid

Lawyers London

Scams targeting people across the planet is estimated costing £73 billion a year

Date: (3 May 2012)    |    

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The wave of mass marketed frauds had been having a distressing effect of the lives of millions of people. The scams happen through post, phone, and email and cost an estimated £73 billion a year.
This month an awareness campaign urging the consumers to be aware and stay alert has been launched by Trading Standards.
The most common form of scams or methods of fraud include fake lotteries, prize draws and sweepstakes, advance fees and money transfers, ticketing, home working and career opportunities, health and slimming miracles, pay in advance credit and investment opportunities.
Consumerwatch spoke to Dave Lodge at West Yorkshire Trading Standards to find out about the biggest cons currently operating in the area they are upfront fees which is paid in advance for some services which never happen, Insulating roof coatings which fall short of the promises made by the salesmen, car matching where con artists would offer to find clients for someone to sell a car for a fee but the buyer never comes, overseas loan companies which target people who are in huge debts offering a one time loan at a much lesser rate of interest but once their fees are settled nothing happens, and then people enquiring for computer virus in a personal computer and acting as cleaning the system steal passwords and other important details which would be used by them.
There may not be people who have lost their life savings, but people have received such suspicious calls.
David Lodge wants people to report any suspected scam to West Yorkshire Trading Standards. Sadly many scam victims are too embarrassed to admit what has happened, he said.
Working along with Citizens Advice and Action Fraud, the national fraud and internet crime reporting and advice centre, trading standards teams across the country are encouraging anyone receiving scam mailings, or friends and family of anyone they believe is a victim of scam mailings, to speak up.
Louise Baxter, chairman of the Trading Standards Institute’s (TSI) consumer education liaison group, which is co-ordinating Scam Awareness Month, said that the mailings received in this year’s ‘scamnesty’ would be analysed and the information shared with partner enforcement agencies in the UK and abroad.
This he says would help in cracking down the senders and their networks, and enable TSI us to help victims of scams directly, giving them tools to deal with this problem.