Don't Be Scammed In Merton

Drop-in session to learn about scam pitfalls

As part of Scams Awareness a drop-in session is being held at the Civic Centre in Morden, advising residents on scam pitfalls.

The session will be held on Friday 30 May between 10am-2pm, with members from Merton Council's trading standards team on hand to answer any questions.

As well as holding a workshop, the team will be visiting residents who are at risk of falling victim to financial abuse at the hands of scammers.

A recent incident in Merton resulted in a resident losing more than £5,500. The scammers found out that the resident had been injured in an accident and used this information to convince him they would give him the compensation he was entitled to.

But before receiving his compensation, the resident was told to buy online vouchers and provide the voucher numbers over the telephone. He provided several payments over a few months and did not receive anything in return. As well as visiting and advising the resident on how to spot a scam so he doesn't fall victim again, Merton's trading standards team are working with police to track down where the vouchers were paid into.

Merton’s director for environment and regeneration, Chris Lee said: "Scams come in all shapes and sizes and can leave people hundreds or thousands of pounds worse off. We will continue helping people in Merton spot and report scams. We are advising people to speak to family and friends to make sure they are aware of the warnings signs of a scam to stop them being ripped off. Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is."

Citizens Advice Bureau chief executive, Gilian Guy said: "Scammers are picking the pockets of millions of innocent people. Pensioners and hard-up households face invasion through their computers, phones, letterboxes, and on the doorstep.

"People who are already struggling to put food on the table, let alone save money day-to-day, are being fleeced of their hard-earned cash. It is disgraceful that scammers are often targeting elderly people with sophisticated scams such as posing as their bank or phone company. We are running Scams Awareness Month to encourage people to fight back against the fraudsters pushing their cons into the nation’s homes by reporting those scams."

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May 19, 2014