Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner hit the streets of Lytham with Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators to deliver the Be Scam Wise campaign materials to residents who could potentially be a victim of a doorstep scam.
Posters, advice leaflets and window stickers have been developed in conjunction with local trading standards teams, aim to raise awareness of the kind of scams taking place across the county. Scammers are adopting a number of methods to cheat elderly and vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds by cold calling, telephone and online means.
The scheme warns of:
- Traders who quote for a small job on the doorstep then ask for thousands for much bigger repairs
- Clairvoyants who trick people into believing they can pass on information from dead loved ones and then ask for cash
- Investment opportunities on the doorstep or over the phone that appear too good to be true – usually they are
- Banking or computer scams where people are called and asked to give up passwords or banking details by someone pretending to work for the company or bank
- Romance or dating scams where people use fake identities to con their way into people’s affections and ask for money so they can travel to be with them
Be Scam Wise was launched at Lancashire conference event for frontline workers who often come into contact with elderly or vulnerable people and also showcased at the annual Neighbourhood Watch Conference.
Clive Grunshaw was joined by Lytham Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer, Sam Blincow and members of the Neighbourhood Watch team as well as PCSO Gary Hickman, to hand deliver window stickers to residents.
The stickers warn would-be scammers that the resident is alert to scams and also provides vital advice and information for the householder to make them aware of the kind of tricks scammers use.
Residents in the Lytham St Annes area have been the first to display the bright yellow logo in their windows and Mr Grunshaw said: “This is an excellent way of preventing crime within Lancashire to help those people who are more vulnerable and are key targets for rogue traders.
“These window stickers will deliver the message to criminals before they get beyond the doorstep and let them know that people are wise to their scams that often con vulnerable victims out of thousands of pounds.
“We can prevent these despicable crimes from happening by working together with local community workers, PCSOs, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators and more, by taking these steps to alert rogue traders and let them know that they are not welcome.
“I would urge others to order the Be Scam Wise materials and display them to prevent and reduce crime.”
The Scam Wise materials and stickers have a brand new and eye-catching logo, designed to show potential rogue traders that victims are clued-up and aware of scammers operating in their area.
PCSO Gary Hickman said: “Residents in this area are often targeted by rogue traders. We will be making sure that people display these stickers in their windows as we patrol the streets.”
Sam Blincow, Neighbourhood Watch Liaison officer in Blackpool and the Fylde said: “We’re extremely impressed by the information we received at the Be Scam Wise conference. This is a fresh approach on the Neighbourhood Watch scheme and is going down well within the community. We are ready to roll it out across the area.”
Leaflets, posters, booklets and window stickers are being distributed within communities – to order a pack or download items here.
If you’ve been a victim of crime, Lancashire Victim Services are there for you when you need them for help, support and advice. Contact www.lancashirevictimservices.org for more information.