A “don’t get stung” message has gone out to Islanders as part of National Scams Awareness Month (June).
The warning has come from the Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership (IWASP) scheme – which involves council trading standards and partner groups offering support and advice.
“Scams come in various different forms, postal, telephone, online – all of which are designed to make victims part with their money and personal details by intimidating them or promising cash, prizes, services and fictitious high returns on investment,” said Cabinet member for community safety and public protection, Councillor Tig Outlaw.
“It is important to remember that no matter what type of scam, all scams are crimes. Over June, we are highlighting the work of IWASP and asking residents to look out for each other and continue to report any potential doorstep scams, rogue traders or suspicious email or phone contact to out trading standards team.”
Scams are the product of organised criminals who cleverly gain the trust of unsuspecting victims and then steal their money.
Did you know:
• about 3.2 million people fall victim to scams each year;
• the average age of a scam victim is 75;
• scams cost the UK economy between £5 billion and £10 billion each year.
• it is estimated only five per cent of these crimes are ever reported.
Councillor Outlaw said: ”These statistics make for quite frightening reading and with an increasing elderly population on the Island , it is more important than ever that, as an Island, we continue to look out for each other and make the Isle of Wight an environment in which rogue traders and scammers will be found out and exposed.”
The council is also supporting the National Scams Team in trying to enlist one Million Friends Against Scams by 2020, to join the fight and become a friend against scams. Visit their website at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk