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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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Cumbrian scam victims could get their cash back

Money could be returned to the victims of scams in Cumbria after the launch of a scheme to target conmen.

Trading Standards officers in the county are working with national experts to follow trails left by scammers and intercept the money they’ve conned.

The scams include fraudulent letters, emails and telephone calls to residents saying they’ve won foreign lotteries, prize draws, bogus psychic predictions, miracle health cures and inheritance claims. As a result some people hand over payment in the hope they they’ll receive a big cash prize or gift.

Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards has joined forces with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to provide support and advice to victims of scams – and where possible, return their money. Cumbria Trading Standards is collaborating with the national team to become part of the National Scams Hub.

Sheralee Cornthwaite, Cumbria’s Trading Standards area manager south, said: “Scams are becoming more sophisticated so it’s still difficult for us to identify victims as many people keep it a secret from family and friends.

“Membership of the Scams Hub is assisting us in overcoming this problem, enabling us to make contact with those who need our support the most.

“By gathering and sharing intelligence on scams and potential scam victims, it will not only make it easier for Cumbria Trading Standards to raise awareness of the damage caused by scams but it will allow us to educate victims and potential victims which helps prevent more people suffering this kind of financial abuse.”

Over the coming weeks Cumbria Trading Standards officers will make contact with victims by conducting a home visit. They will give advice and help determine how residents have fallen prey to the conmen.

For further details on scams visit www.thinkjessica.com

To report a scam contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

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