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Latest News from Kent County Council Public Protection.
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JUNE 2019

Scams Awareness Month 2019 

This newsletter will be focussing on the Scams Awareness annual campaign which aims to create a network of confident, alert residents who know what to do when they see a scam. This year's campaign will take place in June. Scams and fraud can have a devastating effect so make sure you are aware. In this newsletter, we will cover common scams, recently reported scams and how to protect yourself. 

What is a scam?

A scam is a scheme to try to steal money, personal information or data from a person or organisation.  Other names for a scam include fraud, hoax, con, swindle and cheat.
Report a scam
Doorstep crime is financial abuse
A new film helps spot the signs of financial abuse
Criminals prey on the elderly and vulnerable by gaining their trust and convincing them that urgent and usually unnecessary work needs to be carried out. Learn to spot the signs of doorstep crime and financial abuse and help protect your neighbours, friends or family members.
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Find out more

Common scams

EMAIL SCAMS
Email scams, also called phishing scams, are on the rise as scammers come up with new tricks to try and steal your personal information and bank details. Some emails have malicious software attached which can infect your computer, tablet or mobile with a virus. Learn more about email scams
TELEPHONE SCAMS
Telephone scams are the second most common type of scam in the UK. We know that half of all scams start with a phone call and vulnerable residents in Kent receive over 55 nuisance calls per month and over half of them are from criminals. These fraudsters often use the names of well-known companies to commit their crime, as it provides a mask of legitimacy. Learn more about telephone scams
CYBERCRIME
The internet is an amazing tool for communication, doing business, shopping, research and much more. Unfortunately, this also provides anonymity for criminals, so we have to be aware when we are online. You are 20 times more likely to be robbed at your computer/smart phone than robbed in the street but people are still not doing enough to protect themselves from being a target on the internet. Learn more
Report a scam

Recently reported scams

HOLIDAY BOOKING SCAM 
Fraudsters stole over seven million pounds from unsuspecting holidaymakers and other travellers in 2018. Over 5,000 people reported to Action Fraud that they had lost a total of just over £7 million to holiday and travel related fraud. The average amount lost was £1,380 per person but in addition to the financial cost, victims have also reported the significant emotional impact caused by this crime. 

Over half, 53%, of the crimes reported were related to the sale of airline tickets. The next most common fraud at 25%, related to the sale of accommodation,
 
To help protect yourself:
  • Check customer reviews - review and research thoroughly.
  • Look out for companies that are members of professional bodies such as ABTA
  • Be wary of paying a private individual by bank transfer
  • Paying by credit card will offer you much more protection from fraud. Trust your instincts, don't get rushed into making impulsive decisions
Visit Get Safe Online for holiday booking advice
MATRESS SCAM ALERT
A Kent resident was recently scammed by a criminal selling mattresses from a van in Edenbridge.

At best these mattresses will contain a very basic spring unit with a polyester fibre pad or a layer of cheap foam over it, all covered in a cheap outer covering material. They almost certainly haven't undergone testing though they may display the small blue, white and black label with an image of a cigarette and match flame.

At worst, the mattress may contain an old, used spring unit along with dirty fillings. Some of the worst cases are where the rogue trader has simply placed an old mattress inside a brand-new cover! 
Read More  

How to protect yourself

TAKE PART
Join the millions taking part in Scams Awareness Month. Find out more about scams, share stories and learn how to protect yourself, your family and friends against these cruel crimes and predatory practices.
Take part in Scams Awareness Month
JOIN FRIENDS AGAINS SCAMS
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a stand against scams. Anybody can join and make a difference in their own way.
Become a friend against scams
READ AND LEARN

The Little Book of Big Scams’ is a comprehensive guide on fraud prevention, explaining some of the most common scams in existence, ranging from the simple to the sophisticated, providing essential advice to reduce the chances of you being parted from your money. Produced by the Metropolitan police Fraud and Linked Crime Online.

Read and download the booklet

SIGN UP
Register to receive alerts about scams, doorstep criminals and doorstep sellers from KCC Trading Standards by email.
REGISTER FOR ALERTS

REPORT IT
Report a scam, or a problem with a trader or product, to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice consumer service.
REPORT IT

Community Wardens
June Events

Community Wardens help keep Kent residents safe in their community. Across the county they will be taking part in Scams Awareness Month giving talks, handing out leaflets and speaking to people about how to identify and avoid scams. 

Here are some of the events taking place:
DATE EVENT
LOCATION
Throughout June Community wardens Peter Willows and Tony Gander will be engaging with the public with a Scams display, information and quiz Birchington library, Thanet
Monday 3 June Community Safety partners’ stall
Five ways,
Tunbridge Wells town
Friday 7 June Community Wardens Bob Halls and Neil Staveley will be supporting Santander Bank’s Scams Awareness Day offering scam advice and providing literature
Folkestone
Wednesday 12 June Scam presentation
Hawkhurst WI
Thursday 13 June Community Wardens Karl Aylett and Peter Willows will be holding a scam awareness event in partnership with Nationwide building society offering advice and providing literature. Nationwide building Sandwich 09.00 - 11.00
Tuesday 18 June
Community Wardens Scam awareness event
Minster on Sea library 1000 - 1400
Tuesday 18 June
Community Warden Mandy Quy-Verlander Pop-up Café and information hub
Herne & Broomfield Surgery
Wednesday 19 June Community Warden Scam awareness event
The Sheppey Gateway, Sheerness 1000 - 1400
Saturday 22 June
Village Day
New Ash Green
Wednesday 26 June Community Wardens Scam awareness event
Sheppey Matters Eastchurch Community Health Hub 1000 - 1400
Tuesday 2nd July VSW Lee Phelan and Community Warden Jo Vos will be holding a scam awareness presentation Wittersham Village Hall at 1100
Find out who your local Community Warden is and how to contact them
 
Pop-Up Café and Information Hub in Broomfield
Community Warden Mandy Quy-Verlander was instrumental in getting the Rural Kent Pop-up cafe into her area of Broomfield. Each month she invites guests such as Age UK, Kent Fire & Rescue, Red Zebra, representatives from local groups, Enforcement Officers and Canterbury City Councillors to chat informally to visitors.

The cafe and information hub is situated in the car park of the Herne & Broomfield Surgery and the next event will be on Tuesday 18 June from 10.30 to 12.30. Pop along for a coffee and a chat, all refreshments and cake are free of charge. 

Future dates: Tuesday 16th July, Tuesday 27th August, Tuesday 24th Sept, Tuesday 22nd Oct
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