Find Out How To Avoid Being A Scam Victim

Wimbledon event will teach local residents how to protect themselves

If you’re worried about being scammed, a ‘How to avoid Scams’ conference is being held in Wimbledon next month.

Merton Council’s Safer Neighbourhood Board have partnered with the Met Police Cyber Crime Unit and Trading Standards to organise the event, which takes place on February 2, from 10am-1pm (doors open 9.30am) at The Everyday Church, Queens Road, SW19 8LR (next to to Centre Court shopping centre).

Age UK, Financial Services, Trading Standards, MASCOT, Victim Support, Citizens Advice, Neighbourhood Watch and Neighbourhood Police will be on hand to give expert advice.

It follows a Merton resident was recently falling victim to phone scammers who tricked them out of £1,200. The resident received a voicemail from someone claiming to be from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), stating that the resident had an outstanding debt and that an arrest warrant had been issued.

On calling the number left on the voicemail, the resident was advised they could avoid court and settle the debt, by paying it off in High Street vouchers by 3pm that day.
The scammers convinced the resident to stay on the phone while they purchased vouchers from different stores. In this case, the resident lost £1,200.

At the conference Merton residents will be able to learn more about how they can protect themselves. Scammers are professional hoaxers, who at times appear to be friendly and can be well spoken. They can use fictitious charities and distressing photographs and may refer you to what seems to be a legitimate website. They may provide false testimonial and give themselves important sounding titles.

Merton Council cabinet member for Community Safety, Engagement and Equalities, Edith Macauley said: “I look forward to seeing you all at the conference where our experts will tell you all the ways that you can protect yourself, family and community from scammers. We thank all the partners who have come together to provide our residents with this excellent session that will be very helpful.”

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January 15, 2019