Safer 6 – Fight against Scams

2nd November 2021

 

Safer 6 – We’re urging residents to take up the fight against scams

 

Sandwell Council is urging residents to remain vigilant of fraudsters who prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people.

As part of the Safer Sandwell Partnership’s Safer 6 campaign, the council’s Trading Standards team is warning of the following scams.

Doorstep crime

  • Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return.

Online scams

  • Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.

Refund scams

  • Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.

Loan sharks

  • Illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence.


How to avoid scams

Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Councillor Bob Piper, Sandwell’s cabinet member for community safety, said:

“Many scams take advantage of the real financial support schemes put in place by the council to help people manage and exploit people’s financial concerns, impersonating trusted organisations, to trick them into giving away their money or information.

“The key is to stay alert – if something looks too good to be true, then chances are it’s a scam. And if you’re in any doubt please report it.”

Useful contacts:

Report suspected scams to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Check if something is a scam at www.citizensadvice.org.uk and search ‘scams’.

Free online training to help prevent becoming a victim at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk

Contact our trading standards team by calling 03454 04 05 06 or go online at www.sandwell.gov.uk/tradingstandards

 

Safer 6 campaign

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign has a special online focus this year – as well as activities across our six towns.

The campaign, now in its 12th year, promotes a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice. The campaign started on 27 September and runs until 7 November 2021.

Visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/safer6 for more information about the different weeks.

Follow the campaign on Twitter and Instagram using the #Safer6 hashtag and on the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for Safer Sandwell Partnership organisations and services.

Published: 2nd November 2021