Cornwall Council Trading Standards service has launched its annual 'Scams Awareness Campaign'
The campaign will run throughout May and invites people who have received scam mail to bin it at local libraries throughout Cornwall.
The team is also running a competition giving entrants the opportunity to win a state of the art call blocking device which blocks unsolicited calls getting through to potentially vulnerable elderly residents.
In independent trials carried out by Trading Standards, one particular model, aimed at protecting older and vulnerable consumers, was able to block 98 per cent of nuisance calls.
Julia Groves, Trading Standards authorised officer, says “We have seen how successful these call blockers can be in reducing nuisance calls and we thought that a competition would give us the opportunity to highlight how beneficial their installation can be – especially for elderly residents.
"The trials have taken place on models costing as little as £40 for simple versions, up to £120 for the more specialist equipment. The specialist models allow family members to view and monitor received calls remotely, using the internet. This is particularly useful where they have an elderly or vulnerable relative living on their own.
Scam mail continues to be a problem for all Trading Standards authorities but it is challenging to both identify and then offer assistance to victims who often don’t recognise that they have been scammed.
The national campaign, along with our work with the National Scams Hub, helps us to track those local residents that are responding to scam mail and provide information and advice in a more targeted approach.
Hopefully this year we will be adding to the National Scams Team’s database with intelligence obtained from our interventions, with a view to this information being used to take enforcement action.”
Julia goes on to say "We would encourage family and friends to look at those dear to them who may be dealing with excessive amounts of scam mail or phone calls. Often those caught up in receiving and responding to scams are encouraged to be secretive about what they are doing and can often be in denial that they are falling victim to these scams."
Competition information and entry forms, with a chance to win one of the top of the range call blockers, can be obtained at local libraries.
Further information on the latest scams can be found on the Action Fraud website.
Anyone wishing to know the full impact that becoming a scam victim can have is urged to visit the Think Jessica website. Alternatively you can inform Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org