Scamnesty planned in fight back at fraudsters

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TRADING Standards officials are holding a ‘scamnesty’ in a fight back against fake lotteries, get-rich-quick schemes and deceptive prize draw offers.

Derbyshire County Council wants anyone who has received suspect letters, leaflets and flyers to drop them off at libraries between Monday, May 21 and Monday, May 28.

The ‘scamnesty’ 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 £3.5 billion a year.

Staff in libraries will collect mail over the counter and Derbyshire Citizens Advice Bureaux in Buxton, Chesterfield and Clay Cross are also taking part.

Coun Carol Hart, Derbyshire 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 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.”

Emma Hagger, of the Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “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.”