Elderly and vulnerable people who may fall prey to scammers are being addressed in a county-wide crackdown on marketing fraud.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team are investing an extra £76,786 to help support victims of mass marketing scams over the next twelve months.
The money will be spent on funding two additional Trading Standards officers dedicated to working with vulnerable residents who have been identified as potential victims.
The work includes home visits with vulnerable victims to give advice on how to spot a scam and forthcoming training sessions with Royal Mail staff to encourage them to report suspect companies and identify potential victims.
A recent study found that older people tend to be the most prominent victims of mass marketing fraud out of the 3.2 million people in the UK who have fallen prey to it.
The problem is estimated to cost consumers £5 billion to £10 billion and the council has recently worked with three victims where the total loss has been over £150,000.
The National Scams Hub supplies local authorities with lists of potential scam victims seized from mailing houses and the council has so far visited 400 potential victims who have been on local lists.
The funding for the new posts is coming from the Better Care Fund, which is supporting work carried out by the NHS and local authorities to help people remain living independently.
Councillor Glynn Gilfloyle, chairman of the council’s community safety committee, said: “Vulnerable people such as older residents are particularly at risk with scams, which can hugely impact on their health and confidence and lead to increased social and health care needs.
“Some victims find themselves caught up in a viscous cycle of giving scammers money in a hope of winning a prize or product that doesn’t exist, so it’s important they receive the necessary help to prevent further loss of money.
“This valuable work will help us to work closely with more vulnerable people to make sure they can avoid a future scam and resolve other issues that may make them at risk.”
To report concerns call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.