Sutton Trading Standards hope that you are well, and as a reminder, we would like to re-iterate the government and NHS guidelines about maintaining good hygiene; please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for further information
It is particularly important for people who are over 70 and/or have an underlying health condition
Things such as Facebook Community Groups, WhatsApp Groups, and the Nextdoor social network that send neighbourhood alerts can be great ways of staying in touch with those around you, however, it can be difficult to know who to trust. These are all online and not everyone has access to the internet
Please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing
Here are just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:
• Virus testing kits
• Vaccines or miracle cures – there is currently no vaccine or cure
• Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus such as anti-bacterial products
• Shopping or medication collection services
• Home decontamination services
• Don’t be rushed into making a decision. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
• Only purchase goods and services from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information
• Don’t assume everyone is genuine. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. If in doubt, speak to someone you trust
• If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure
• If you think have been scammed, contact your bank first
• If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk to help stop it happening to others
• Get advice and report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or online advice at www.adviceguide.org.uk
• If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999
To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk and complete the free online training
Why not become a Scam Marshal? A Scam Marshal is any resident in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Scam Marshals do this by sharing their own experiences, helping others to report and recognise scams and sending any scam mail that they receive to the National Trading Standards Scams Team so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work
Visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/ScamMarshals for more information and to sign up
Please take a look at the Little Booklet of Phone Scams
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. This is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and the theme is KINDNESS.
To access guidance, support, and news relating to mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic, please click onto the link below -
The online course has been designed for trading standards officers, social workers, health workers, police, befrienders to give them:
· an understanding of the scale of the problem of scams;
· an insight into the behavior of the criminals behind scams;
· an understanding of the legislation that can be used to support scam victims and to prosecute criminals behind scams; and
· practical advice on how best to support a victim of scams.
There is a short assessment at the end of the course and a certificate will be issued if the assessment is passed.
The course is available via the Friends Against Scams website https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/course.php/1/practitioner_e_learning
We have become aware of a doorstep scam that is currently happening across Sutton. We are aware that leaflets are being dropped at homes in Sutton, encouraging people to open bank accounts for a company involved in betting. Please under no circumstances should residents take up the offer or contact the company.