Midlothian Council’s Trading Standards team is calling on local people to take a stand against scams.
Many scams come in the form of letters making false promises to con people out of money. Criminals trick people with official looking documents usually aimed at persuading them to part with administration fees. The most common scams are fake lotteries, prize draws and even clairvoyant scams offering good fortune.
Friends Against Scams is a national trading standards initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to take a stand against scams. They are calling for people to become Scam Marshals to help stop the scourge of junk mail.
Marshals are given envelopes to send any scam mail they receive to the National Trading Standards Scam Team at no cost so that it can be used as evidence in investigations and enforcement work. This should eventually stop the recipient receiving the junk mail. They can also share their own experiences to help others to report and recognise scams.
Anyone in the UK can become a Scam Marshal. To sign up go to www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/ScamMarshals.
So far more than 500 people have signed up including Midlothian Council’s senior enforcement officer Andy King, who is the first person in Midlothian to become a marshal. He said: “The Scam Marshal scheme has been developed as a way of helping to bring people together to fight scams. If you are inundated with junk mail sign up today free of charge to help yourself and others.”
The NTSST has created a Scam Marshal coffee morning pack so that marshals can invite their friends and family to their homes for a cuppa and a chat about how to be scam aware.