Scam Awareness Fortnight June 10th - 23rd
TIPS on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraudsters will be given to officials from the British Legion at a special seminar later this year.
More than 70 branch legion chairman will be in attendance to learn about the dangers posed by fraudsters so they can protect themselves and their 3,800 members.
The talk will be given by Deputy PCC Stuart Tweedale, one of group of 50 experts across the UK called SCAMbassadors who use their influence to raise the profile of this problem amongst agencies and local residents.
Lincolnshire has been at the forefront of the fight against fraud, led by Mr Tweedale, and the number of people recruited to help fight scams in the county has now reached the 2,500 milestone.
The invitation to give the talk came from chairman of Lincolnshire’s RBL Tony Goodwin, who was inspired to invite Mr Tweedale after attending the county’s first ever Scamference earlier this year.
Delegates at the conference were told that, although the county officially identified around 4,000 victims of fraud, the number estimated using the Crime Survey of England and Wales was nearer 38,000.
The tactics employed by criminals to con their victims is growing ever more sophisticated. Caller ID can now be spoofed and criminals can even listen for ten seconds AFTER someone hangs up.
This week and next (June 10th – 23rd) is ScamAwareness fortnight. The National Audit Office (NAO) recently estimated that individuals lose £10 billion a year due to fraud.
According to Citizens Advice research almost three-quarters (72%) of people have been targeted by scammers in the last two years, either via mail, phone calls, text messages, emails, online, and face-to-face. Over a third (37%) of people have been targeted five times or more and 75 is the average age of reported scam victims.
“Many of the legion members will be targeted by the evil gangs who peddle such misery so it’s absolutely crucial to get the message out to them,” said Mr Tweedale.
“Hopefully I will be able to help them identify what is a scam and arm them with some useful ways of protecting themselves.”
“After attending the Scamference it was obvious that scams are a growing menace and I am determined to do everything possible to help out members avoid falling prey to these despicable criminals,” said Mr Goodwin.
Sergeant Sharon Hall said: “Scams often have a devastating effect on victims, with fraudsters continually employing new techniques to con people out of their money.
“As part of Scam Awareness Fortnight, we will be at this year’s Lincolnshire Show to offer advice on how to spot the scammers.”
Mr Tweedale will give his presentation at the annual Seminar for the Chairmen held in September at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth.