Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Highland Focus on Scams Awareness Month

11th February 2008

Trading Standards Officers of The Highland Council are taking part in a national campaign ~ Scams Awareness Month - to crack down on the misery and heartache caused by unscrupulous scammers, whose sole aim is to persuade consumers to part with their money.

Working jointly with the Office of Fair Trading, they are focusing on consumer education to help the public spot a scam and are encouraging the public to hand in to designated Council offices scam literature received this month.

Alistair Thomson, Head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards, hopes the campaign gets the message across to consumers not to be conned.

He said: "Consumers who fall victim to mass marketed scams can lose their life savings as a result. We want to stop the scammers in our area and save consumers the misery and heartache that sometimes can be caused by unscrupulous scammers."

He is encouraging consumers to drop off mailing scams to their local TECS offices or send them directly to Trading Standards Officers at their base at 38 Harbour Road, Inverness, so they can start to build a picture of the types of scams that are being perpetrated and educate consumers accordingly on how best to avoid them.

It has been estimated by the Office of Fair Trading that three million people every year fall victim to scams covering bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draws, sweepstakes and fake psychics, get quick rich schemes and miracle health cures by post, through email or over the phone. However, as only an estimated 5% of victims report any scam to the authorities, the figure may be a lot higher than three million. The total cost to the UK consumer is an estimated 3.5 billion a year.

Mr Thomson added: "Unscrupulous persons behind these types of scams are in it for the money. The only way to stop the scams is to stop consumers falling victim to them. We want consumers to help us by responding to this campaign."

If any member of the public has received a postal scam and would like to pass this on to the Council, they should drop this off at 38 Harbour Road, Inverness IV1 1UF. Consumers can also drop their scam letters in specially marked boxes in the following offices:

Caithness - Area Office, Market Square, WICK, KW1 4AB
Inverness - 21-23 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1DY
Lochaber - Fulton House, Gordon Square, Fort William PH33 6XY
Badenoch & Strathspey - Council Offices, Ruthven Road, Kingussie PH21 1EJ
Ross & Cromarty - Ross House, High Street, Dingwall IV15 9RY
Skye & Lochalsh ~ Broom Place, Dunvegan Road, Portree IV51 9HD
Sutherland - The Meadows, DORNOCH, IV25 3SG

OFT advice leaflets on ~How to recognise a scam~ are available directly from Highland Trading Standards or through local libraries throughout the Highlands.

Further Information

1. The awareness week runs until February 27. Collected mailings will be used by participating local authority Trading Standards Services and the OFT to aid intelligence gathering or inform investigations.

2. The local authorities taking part include Hampshire, Darlington, Yorkshire and the Humber, Salford, Scottish Highlands, Bracknell-Forest, Milton Keynes, Trafford, West Berkshire, Nottinghamshire, Reading, Leicestershire, Portsmouth, Wokingham, Buckinghamshire, Isle of Wight, Nottingham, Norfolk, Suffolk, Southend, Bedfordshire, Gloucestershire, St Helens, Southampton, Cornwall, Warrington, Blaenau Gwent, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Hull, North Lincolnshire, York, Essex, Stockport, Wirral, Lancashire, Scottish Highlands, Brighton, Dorset, South Gloucestershire, Poole, Edinburgh, Coventry, Belfast, Wolverhampton, Enfield, Dundee, Solihull, Talford, Walsall, Bournemouth, Kent, Dudley, Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent.

3. Scams Awareness Month is part of an annual international initiative organised by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network. The OFT has enlisted the support of local authority Trading Standards Services, Consumer Direct, the Advertising Standards Authority and other consumer and industry bodies.

4. The OFT's advice to anyone who receives a possible scam offer is: ~Stop, think, and think again~. Do not be rushed into sending off money straight away to someone you do not know. How likely is it that you have been especially chosen for this offer? ~ millions of other people are likely to have received the same offer. Think again ~ read the offer carefully. If you are unsure, speak to family or friends or seek advice.

5. If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, call Consumer Direct for clear, practical consumer advice on 08454 04 05 06 or www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.

6. Mass marketed scams are an OFT priority. In 2005 the OFT launched a Scambusters team and set up the Scams Enforcement Group with partner organisations focusing on law enforcement; consumer education; and cooperation with private sector businesses to disrupt scammers' routes to market.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

17/9/2019
Trading Standards in Scotland act to drive consumer complaints about motor cars off the number 1 spotThumbnail for article : Trading Standards in Scotland act to drive consumer complaints about motor cars off the number 1 spot
Consumer complaints about second-hand cars have topped the complaints "league table" in Scotland for many years.   Common problems include mechanical issues, misdescribed cars and history.  
6/9/2019
New Polling Scheme approved
Changes to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed yesterday (Thursday 5 September 2019) at the meeting of The Highland Council.   Members approved a new Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places that will be in place for the next four years.  
6/9/2019
Senior appointments approved to Highland Council executive leadership teamThumbnail for article : Senior appointments approved to Highland Council executive leadership team
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign, the Council has announced two further appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer (ECO).   Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure, will take up the post of ECO for Transformation and Economy at the end of the month.  
31/8/2019
Golf club opening marks significant investment in HighlandThumbnail for article : Golf club opening marks significant investment in Highland
Kings Golf Club Inverness, (formerly known as Torvean Golf Club), has officially opened a new course and clubhouse on the north side of the A82 trunk road, on the outskirts of Inverness, marking the completion of a £12.35M investment as part of the Inverness West Link Road project.   The official opening ceremony took place today, Friday 30th August 2019, with special guest Bernard Gallagher, former three times Ryder Cup Captain and the Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael.  
28/8/2019
Apply now for Community Transport grantsThumbnail for article : Apply now for Community Transport grants
The Highland Council is now inviting applications for Community Transport grant funding, to cover the three-year period from April 2020 - March 2023.   The Council encourages both current grant recipients and new applicants to submit applications.  
28/8/2019
Council's Capital Investment in CaithnessThumbnail for article : Council's Capital Investment in Caithness
During the Caithness Committee on Tuesday 27 August 2019 Members had the opportunity to review progress of the capital programme for the area and scrutinise the amount of money spent to date.   The current year's capital investment allocation for projects in the Caithness area is £4,210,000.  
22/8/2019
Members agree top priority for New Schools Investment Programme
Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid.   Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.  
22/8/2019
Householders warned to be aware of bogus workmen
At this time of year many householders are thinking of their gardens, keeping them tidy or seeing to those jobs that need done before the weather turns.   This is also the same time of year for criminals to take advantage of this and prey on the unsuspecting.  
22/8/2019
Chromebook rollout prepares pupils for new era of digital learningThumbnail for article : Chromebook rollout prepares pupils for new era of digital learning
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation.   Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.  
22/8/2019
Highland Placement Programme improves children's lives immeasurably
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland.   Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.  

[Printer Friendly Version]