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Not born yesterday

13 December 2016

Not born yesterdayAge UK Sheffield is supporting a new project being delivered by Sheffield Trading Standards, which is being highlighted on the BBC's Look North tonight (13th December 2016).

 

It is estimated that every year 3 million people in the UK fall victim to mail scams and there are over 150,000 incidents of doorstep crime and rogue trading in our communities. With an ageing population and older adults living independently and for longer, this may mean for some, social isolation and loneliness, situations often exploited by scammers and rogue traders.

 

In 2015, Sheffield Trading Standards became a partner to the national scams project.  Using intelligence obtained from scammer’s mailing lists, officers identified approximately 500 local residents believed to be repeatedly targeted by mass marketing scams or mail fraud. In the same period Trading Standards intervened in 60 serious incidents of doorstep crime / rogue trading involving elderly and vulnerable residents. 

 

The local evidence suggests that scams and doorstep / rogue trading offences are extremely prevalent albeit underreported in Sheffield.  Although reporting and interventions have improved there is a still a lack of awareness, particularly with elderly or vulnerable residents which criminals will exploit.

 

In partnership with Adult Safeguarding this campaign is to focus attention on our network of local authority and 3rd sector partners committed to high standards of enforcement, prevention and safeguarding, to tackle this type of financial abuse.

 

• Increased incident reporting
• Improved safeguarding and victim support
• Crime reduction
• Better understand the nature and scale of problems locally
• Targeting resources effectively

 

If you are worried about an older person in Sheffield being targeted for a scam or other illegal activity, and need advice, contact the national helpline on 03545 040506. Or e-mail: trading.standards@sheffield.gov.uk