Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  


Trading Standards and Citizens Advice launch new anti-scams initiative

6th July 2015

July is Scams Awareness Month and The Highland Council's Trading Standards team is joining forces with Citizens Advice Bureaux to warn consumers about the risks of being caught out.

Trading Standards Manager Gordon Robb explained. He said: "Many modern scams are perpetrated from overseas and often the only realistic and effective way to combat them is to raise awareness and stop people becoming victims in the first place. To address this we are delighted to be working together with our local Citizens Advice Bureaux on this campaign which will involve a number of events up and down the Highlands."

Manager of Inverness, Badenoch & Strathspey CAB Alasdair Christie added: "Scams come in all shapes & sizes. Our campaigning materials will encourage the public to ‘End the call, trash the email, rip-up the letter and close the door. Further, those who suspect scams are being asked to spread the word, with the hope of protecting others."

“Every week we see clients in our CAB offices that have had bad experiences with scams these range from Prize draws, sweepstakes and foreign lottery scams, miracle health cures, fake websites, copycat websites and false employment opportunities. Often the perpetrators of these scams prey on the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities.”

One developing trend identified by Trading Standards in Highland is a practice that has been dubbed a “Hoax Location Scams”. This is where an online scammer, usually based outwith the UK, adopts a false Highland business address. This gives them a spurious UK credibility and to Highland consumers they appear to be local. Then the scam occurs, as Gordon Robb explains:

“The scammer gets the consumer's money under false pretences; it might be a payment for a non-existent car, or for non-existent holiday accommodation abroad. The Highland address is subsequently discovered to be wholly false or entirely unconnected, the scammer difficult or impossible to trace, the money is lost and Highland’s reputation wrongly damaged in the process. We can and do act to have such websites taken down, but that can be too late for some victims. So this year we are launching a “name and shame” page on our website, which should show up in any web search, to alert consumers and sometimes the small businesses targeted, before they’re conned.”

The anti-hoax-location initiative is part of the Highland strategy for Scams Awareness Month. Following the successful national launch at Nairn CAB last Thursday, officers from Trading Standards will be assisting at awareness-raising events run by Citizens Advice Bureaux across the Highlands in July.

These include:

• 10 July, Portree, Skye, CAB open day on scams awareness
• 14 July, Aviemore, event at Aviemore Community School
• 15 July, Grantown-on-Spey, event at Craig MacLean Leisure Centre
• 25 July, Dornoch, stall at the Sutherland Show

Gordon Robb continued: “We work closely with the Highland CABs in the Highland Consumer Partnership, bringing together the strengths and expertise of both organisations to the benefit of local consumers and reputable businesses. This campaign is a good example of such joint working.”

If consumers want to report a scam or receive further advice they can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on telephone number 03454 04 05 06, or visit their local CAB. Highland consumers can also contact the Council’s Trading Standards directly either in person or in writing at: The Highland Council Trading Standards, 38 Harbour Road, Inverness IV1 1UF.

The “Hoax location scams” webpage can be found at: See also:


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Highland Council response to extreme weather
The Highland Council is reassuring people in the region that since Storm Caroline and the arrival of winter weather to the region, the Council's Community Services has been deploying all of its available resources to tackle the condition of Highland Council pavements and roads.   The Council's gritting fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.  
Highland Council Indicates Severe Cuts In 2018/19 Budget
Budget update Council will today consider a potential budget gap of £33.5 million in the next financial year in 2018-19.   It will take several days to achieve clarification of the precise settlement to The Highland Council following the Scottish Government's draft budget announcement.  
Highland Council winter road condition and school closure report for Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at .   The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.  
Council's Winter services in action
With Storm Caroline hitting the Highlands yesterday, today's heavy snowfall and the forecast for a drop in temperatures over the next 48 hours, the Highland Council's crews and winter vehicles have been busy in action.   The fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over the coming months 200 plus staff will be providing winter maintenance services.  
Wick Campus Remains Closed Due To Storm Damage On Friday 8th December
Wick Campus, including Wick High School, Newtonpark Primary School and High Life Highland Leisure facilities will remain closed on Friday 8 December 2017.   The closure is due to high winds during Storm Caroline today which caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.  
Council reminds landowners to check wind damaged trees
Following the high winds forecast and experienced this week due to Storm Caroline, The Highland Council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged.   Roads affected by fallen trees this morning were near Beauly; Achnagarron near Invergordon and Lochaber which staff are clearing.  
Storm damage - Wick Campus
The high winds during Storm Caroline today have caused some damage to part of the roof of the Wick campus gym, causing the metal flashing around a roof light to become detached.   The school was already closed to pupils today due to the adverse weather.  
Highland Council winter road condition and school closure report for Thursday 7 December 2017
Road condition reports by The Highland Council's Community Services for the morning of Thursday 7 December 2017 are as follows: Caithness and Sutherland: Most roads are affected by snow and ice.  Treatment in progress.  
Bank closures will unfairly affect towns with poorest broadband
The Highland Council expresses its deep disappointment at the news of further branch closures by the Royal Bank of Scotland.   Leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: "This will cause real difficulties for many customers and small businesses.  
Good news alert for Highland scams victims from Highland Council Trading Standards
Highland consumers who have lost money to a scam involving payment through Western Union wire transfer between 1st January 2004 and 19th January 2017, are being encouraged by Highland Council Trading Standards to file a claim for a refund with America's Federal Trade Commission in a bid to get some or if not all of their money back.   In January 2017, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million for turning a blind eye to scammers and other criminals who used its service to trick customers into paying for bogus prizes, loans, jobs, discounted products and other financial rewards in exchange for money upfront.  

[Printer Friendly Version]