Residents are being asked for their help to stop unscrupulous conmen conning people from St Helens out of thousands of pounds.
Trading Standards officers at St Helens Council and Merseyside Police issued the appeal for assistance to put a stop to scams including dodgy building and roofing work, mail order and prize draw schemes and nuisance telephone calls.
Officers have been helping around 20 St Helens residents over the past few months who have been fleeced for around £40,000 in long-running scams.
One resident was found with thousands of prize draw and lottery letters piled up in his home and one lady suffering from dementia had been sold more than 300 tubs of slimming pills by a telephone scammer who took more than £1,500 from her.
Many of the scams involve victims replying to mail order offers for speciality food or trinkets and then finding themselves indundanted with persistent scam mail and telephone calls over months or even years.
Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron (pictured), cabinet member for green,smart and sustainable borough, said: “Figures show that less than five per cent of victims report scams to the authorities. Trading Standards and the police are encouraging residents to report suspicious activities, get advice if they think they have been conned, and warn others to help stop scams from spreading.”
The authorities have come up with a simple slogan for people to remember when receiving unsolicited approaches to buy goods or making purchases: don’t be rushed and don’t be hushed.
People should take their time to make a decision and get their facts together before parting with their money or personal information, and speak out when they think they’ve spotted a scam.
Officers will be providing advice and information at a number of venues, including St Marys Market on Saturday July 18 and Earlestown Market on Friday July 24.