Fightback against Belper con artists

FIGHT BACK: Councillor Carol Hart (right), Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, and Emma Hagger, from Derbyshire Citizens Advice Bureau, launch the Scamnesty campaign at Matlock Library.
FIGHT BACK: Councillor Carol Hart (right), Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, and Emma Hagger, from Derbyshire Citizens Advice Bureau, launch the Scamnesty campaign at Matlock Library.

A FIGHTBACK against con artists who target homes with fake lotteries, get-rich-quick schemes and prize draw offers gets underway next week in Belper.

The “scamnesty”, which is based at Belper Library, will see people from across the town bringing along letters, leaflets and flyers which had been sent to their homes and present them to trading standards officials.

The officers will now take away the material before examining it and using it as a basis for future investigations which could reduce the amount of people who fall victim to scams across the town.

People have until Monday May 28 to visit the team at the library and alert them to any further rogue letters which they are concerned about that have landed on their doorsteps.

Councillor Carol Hart, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Criminals are constantly finding new ways to target members of the public and Scamnesty week gives us a great opportunity to find out about the latest cons that are being attempted.

“Information gained from leaflets and letters handed in will be used to help our investigations and we will take action where appropriate.

“As always, the message is if an offer seems too good to be true it probably is. People should never give out their bank details or send any money to these people.”

The initiative is part of a national campaign led by the Trading Standards Institute which is aimed at getting the public to fight back against fraudsters costing the UK an estimated £3.5bn each year.

Emma Hagger, Chief Officer of Amber Valley Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “We are pleased to link up with the county council for this year’s Scamnesty campaign.

“Scam mail is growing increasingly sophisticated and often targets the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“We need to do all that we can to put a stop to these schemes which can bring so much misery.”