West Berkshire Council

Act on scams during Scam Awareness Month

July is National Scams Awareness Month.

Scams Awareness Month July 2017 (3)

Issued on: 3 July 2017

Local Citizens Advice and trading standards offices as part of the *Public Protection Partnership are sending out strong 'beware of being scammed' messages and urging people to  'Play your part, act on scams' and will be teaming up with other partners  to take a ScamAware roadshow to a number of venues across Berkshire.

From our first purchase to our last, scammers are waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting, the vulnerable, the shopper short of time, the consumer looking for  a bargain.

​Scams come in all shapes and sizes - from the rogue trader charging for unwanted and badly done driveways to the fake, and potentially life threatening products, bought on-line.

Throw into that mix email scams with non-existent lottery wins that demand payment up front, and are followed up by an endless stream of more and more threatening scam mail, and investment opportunities that are based on thin air and can rob someone of their life savings, and the picture becomes grim. ​

Jan Rothwell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice West Berkshire said "We are calling on the public to be more aware of how they could be scammed, and to report it if they get caught out. With so many vulnerable people being snagged by scammers there is no reason to be embarrassed - and every reason to report incidents and help the authorities put a stop to it. People can seek advice by visiting Citizens Advice or telephoning the consumer service on 03454 04 05 06."

Cllr Norman Jorgensen, Wokingham, Chair of the Joint Public Protection Committee said: "Scams can happen to anyone. They are highly sophisticated and a lot of people are too embarrassed to report them. Therefore, it is thought that only around 15% of all scams are reported. I would urge anyone who is suspicious to exercise caution and contact Trading Standards or Citizens Advice to make sure a company or person is legitimate before parting with any cash!"

The Public Protection Partnership, Citizens Advice and Thames Valley Police ScamAware roadshow  will appear at a number of venues during Scam Awareness Month including:

Thursday 6 July: Wokingham Town Centre
Friday 7 July: Princess Square, Bracknell
Sunday 23 July: Newbury Waterways Festival
Wednesday 26 July: Northbrook Street, Newbury
Anyone who knows of a scam, or  is being scammed should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 03454 04 05 06.

*The Joint Public Protection Committee oversees the work of Public Protection Partnership (Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing) for Bracknell Forest Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council.