New anti-scam drive to stop con artists from targeting Norfolk’s vulnerable

PUBLISHED: 16:03 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 02 March 2018

Norfolk County councillor Margaret Dewsbury. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk County councillor Margaret Dewsbury. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk Conservatives

A fresh drive is to be launched to stop vulnerable people in Norfolk from being targeted by con artists who trick them out of thousands of pounds.

On average, victims of scams lose at least £1,000 before they realise they have been conned. And Norfolk Trading Standards are currently working with a Norfolk victim who has lost more than £85,000.

At a meeting next week, councillors on Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, will be asked to give the go-ahead for a new Norfolk Against Scams Partnership to be formed.

The National Trading Standards Scams team has approached the council about forming the partnership. If it is formed, it would see the council take the lead in bringing together organisations from the public and private sectors, the voluntary sector, community groups, and people in the county, to raise a concerted heightened awareness of scams.

The council would also become a flagship Friends Against Scams local authority and would encourage people to become Scambassadors, who use their influence to raise awareness of scams.

Norwich MPs Clive Lewis and Chloe Smith are already Scambassadors.

The lonely and older people are deemed to be more at risk of falling victim to mass marketing scams, but anyone can fall victim to a scam, particularly when faced with circumstances they are unfamiliar with, such as applying for a student loan or banking online.

It is estimated that between £5bn to £10bn is lost each year by UK consumers because of such scams.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the communities committee, which will meet on Wednesday, said: “We’re very pleased that the National Trading Standards Scams Team would like to form a partnership with us - a partnership which aims to protect people and to prevent them from becoming victims of financial abuse through mass marketing scams.

“The formation of the Norfolk Against Scams Partnership would involve a commitment from the council to spread the message to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.

“I’m keen to invite fellow members to become Scambassadors as part of the Friends Against Scams network and start spreading the word.”

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