Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner launches new anti-scam campaign21 March, 2017
An innovative campaign aimed at keeping vulnerable and elderly people safe from scammers has been launched by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner in association with trading standards teams across the county.
The Scam Wise campaign was showcased at two events – one for front line workers who may come into contact with elderly and vulnerable people – and another attended by Lancashire’s neighbourhood watch co-ordinators and volunteers.
The new campaign has a brand new and eye-catching logo, designed to highlight the Scam Wise presence within the community and show criminals that their potential victims are clued-up and aware of scammers operating in Lancashire.
Window stickers, posters, booklets and leaflets are now circulating amongst residents across Lancashire and are being showcased as a source of early intervention and prevention of crime.
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “We need to be pro-active and raise awareness by working together. It is about reaching out and combining all of the organisations that we have – to work together using the people who are the closest to the community.
“Victims of scams are not going to get their money back. And often they are left devastated emotionally and psychologically. We can only deal with scams prevention by working together by sharing the information, sharing best practice and talking together about how we can work effectively in the future.”
National and local trading standards teams along with Lancashire Constabulary previously highlighted the heart-breaking cases that they often come across with victims being stripped of their life savings.
Francis Wilson from the National Trading Standards Scams team revealing scams cost the UK economy millions of pounds every year.
Frances Wilson, Projects Officer, at the National Trading Standards Scams Team said: “Scam victims usually suffer in silence, once they realise that they have been scammed they are in denial and they are left in a vulnerable position.
“Elderly people who are lonely and are being targeted say ‘these letters are the only company I get.’ We need to promote early intervention by working with each other. From cashiers at major banks to postmen from the Royal Mail, we all need to unite and work closely.”
The aim of the campaign is to get everyone involved to help raise awareness and protect vulnerable people who are often repeat victims of scams and fraud.
DC Mark Aldridge, from the Fraud and Economic Crime Unit at Lancashire Constabulary said: “These scammers are like vultures and they prey on their victims. Many of these victims are vulnerable and that vulnerability is exploited.
Once they are in there, these scammers will continue to prey on the vulnerable and scam them out of several thousands of pounds, leading to devastating effects not only financially but mentally, too.
When this has happened it is hard to break the cycle of the same person becoming a victim again – but by working together to raise awareness we can help stop the next opportunity for the scammer.”