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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > February 2010 > Bedford Borough Tough on Scams

Bedford Borough Gets Tough on Scams

Bedford Borough Council has signed up to the nationwide ‘Scamnesty’ campaign, which aims to help end the scourge of mass marketed scam mailings in the UK.

Nearly half of the UK adult population has been targeted by a scam. Every year,3.2 million adults – one in 15 people – across the country fall victim to a scam involving deceptive unsolicited mailings, phone calls, or emails, which are designed to con victims out of their cash. UK consumers lose around a staggering £3.5 billion to scams every year.

Through ‘Scamnesty 2010’ the council is calling on residents to fight back against the fraudsters by collecting any scam mailings they receive and dropping them into designated ‘Scamnesty’ bins located at Bedford Borough Council Town Hall reception, Borough Hall reception and Bedford Central Library.

Last year the campaign revealed that the top five mass-marketed scam mailings in the UK at that time were:

1) Deceptive sweepstakes,

2) Misleading prize draws,

3) Fake clairvoyants/psychics,

4) Bogus foreign lotteries, and

5) ‘Miracle’ health cures

Councillor Nick Charsley, commented: “Throughout the year, hardworking people all around the nation receive unwanted junk mail and calls that attempt to persuade them to part with their money in the hope of a greater return. Usually the most vulnerable people in our society suffer the most from these scams and it is time that we all work together to put a stop to it.”

The Scamnesty bins will provide valuable new intelligence to the Borough Council’s Trading Standards department and the Governments Office of Fair Trading who organise the campaign nationally. The information received will help inform future investigations which will prevent others from being scammed.

 

Heather Clayton, OFT Senior Director, said:

‘Scamnesty 2010 promises to reveal a marked increased in scale and range of mass marketed scam mailings in the UK. Every day, people are at risk from unscrupulous fraudsters who want to con them out of their cash. By dropping your scam mailing into your local Scamnesty bin, you will help provide crucial intelligence to support us in stopping scams bringing misery to millions of people every year.’ 

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, call

Consumer Direct for clear, practical advice on 08454 04 05 06 or visit

www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/scamnesty Consumers can report all types of scams at https://secure.consumerdirect.gov.uk/reportascam.aspx  on the Consumer Direct website.

During Scamnesty month (February 2010), they can also report online scams to the ‘virtual bin’ on the Consumer Direct website.

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