Act on scams
Many scams are targetted towards the elderly, socially isolated and vulnerable who if they reply, are sent numerous marketing offers, to try to make them part with their money. Names and addresses can be added to suckers lists, followed by repeated victimisation through the mail and in many instances followed up with menacing and frequent telephone calls.
Unsolicited email and text messages can be sent to thousands of people quickly and relatively cheaply. If only a tiny fraction of people reply, huge profits can still be made by these criminals.
Often this type of crime is not reported out of embarrassment or because the victim believes the scam is genuine. Its been known for victims to keep it hidden until after their death and only then do their relatives realise thousands of pounds have been paid into these criminal accounts, normally outwith the UK.
Advice and help
friendsagainstscams.org.uk (takes you to an external website) is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.
Expert advice on spam and scam email is available at Getsafeonline.org (takes you to an external website).
Read the story of a victim of chronic scam mail at thinkjessica.com (takes you to an external website).
The National Fraud Authority provide advice and support through their website at actionfraud.police.org.uk.
Trusted Trader scheme
Fife Trusted Trader scheme is an online directory of local trades vetted by Trading Standards. As a condition of membership, they must agree to adhere to the terms and conditions of the scheme, which includes not to cold call. Find a trader at fifedirect.org.uk/trustedtrader.
Tel: 03454 040506