Craven residents are being invited to protect themselves against fraudsters during ‘Scam Awareness Month’ in July.
There have been recent reports of issues with ‘cold calling’ in the district, where residents have been abused by doorstep sellers who claim to be in a prison rehabilitation scheme.
Craven District Council is offering residents ‘no cold calling’ stickers and inviting them to join the ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ scheme run by Trading Standards.
Councillor Chris Moorby, ward councillor for Hellifield and Long Preston, was contacted recently by two residents of Long Preston complaining that they had been ‘cold called’ by doorstep sellers.
“Both residents told the sellers or seller that they did not require anything from them; following this the seller became quite abusive,” he said.
“The introduction by these sellers is that they have been in prison and are being rehabilitated, they usually show some form of identity.
“I contacted the police who informed me this is not the case and they are working on their own initiative. The advice from the police is if the vehicle that is being used can be seen then make a note of the registration and report any incidents to the police and perhaps in the first instance put a no cold callers notice on the door.
“I have sent an email to the council’s Chief Executive and all other councillors making them aware of the situation as we have a great many elderly and vulnerable people in Craven.”
During Scam Awareness Week, Citizens Advice and Trading Standards are urging people to spread the word about scams and expose the tactics of fraudsters to protect others.
They are advising people to follow a three-step rule – get advice, report it, and tell others about it.
National research by Citizens Advice finds scammers are using a variety of tactics to get people to part with their cash, with people losing an average of £2,500 across all types of scam.
Scam methods include vishing whereby scammers cold-call people in a bid to get their bank details, and offers of fake services, such as telling people their computer has a virus which they can fix remotely.
Investment scams carried the highest price tag, with people investing in fake diamonds or bogus stocks and shares losing of on average £20,000 each.
Citizens Advice is warning people to be on guard and watch out for the different methods used by fraudsters, from doorstep selling of counterfeit goods to demands for upfront payments for services that never materialise.
If you think you have been scammed, get advice, and report it to Trading Standards through your local Citizens Advice or through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
If you would like a ‘no cold calling’ sticker or to find out more about the No Cold Calling Zones, please contact Stacey Reffin, Community Safety Hub 01756 706291.