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East London council launches Scams Awareness Campaign

Scam awareness campaignTags Adults , Council , Residents

Last week, Trading Standards officers from Barking and Dagenham Council launched a campaign to protect residents against scams. 

In the first of many drop-in sessions, Trading Standards Officers provided information to residents and welcomed questions about all types of scams in Barking Town Centre last Thursday (9 September).

Dozens of local residents benefitted from best practice guidance on how to be scams aware, alert, and assertive against cold callers, doorstep sellers and potential distraction burglars.

Residents should be aware that as we enter the winter season and residents spend more time in their homes, doorstep criminals, distraction burglars and scammers become more active and the council wants to ensure that residents have the knowledge and awareness to not get caught out by these fraudsters and criminals.

Over the next couple of months, Trading Standards will be holding several awareness sessions across the borough:

  • Friday 1 October, 12 noon to 4pm at Barking Learning Centre, 2 Town Square, IG11 7NB.
  • Wednesday 13 October, 12 noon to 5pm at Sue Bramley, Bastable Avenue, Barking, IG11 0LG.
  • Monday 18 October, 12 noon to 5pm at Marks Gate Community Centre, Rose Lane, Marks Gate, RM6 5NJ.
  • Thursday 21 October, 1pm to 5pm at Leys Children’s Centre, 215 Wellington Drive, Dagenham, RM10 9XW.
  • Thursday 28 October, 12 noon to 4pm at Becontree Children’s Centre, Stevens Road, Dagenham, RM8 2QR.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “We’ve all had a tough time of it over last 18 months and the last thing anyone needs is to be caught out by a scammer. 

“These sessions will be a great way for our residents to find out ways they can keep themselves, their neighbours, friends and family safe. I would recommend everyone to get down to one if they can.”

Key points that everyone should remember when it comes to scams are:

  1. Never take or respond to cold callers.
  2. Consumers are legally entitled to a 14-day cooling off period for contracts entered into at their home.
  3. Check the identity of the caller, or not answer the door.
  4. Ask a trusted person for advice on reputable traders.
  5. Display a ‘No Cold Calling’ sticker.
  6. Always report suspicious activity. 

As a result of recent work from Trading Standards officers - a neighbour stopped a doorstep crime in progress by reporting it to Trading Standards who were able to intervene. 

Also, alongside Citizens Advice, Trading Standards officers prevented a vulnerable resident from forking out £20,000 for a retiling of their bathroom. 

If residents become aware of any suspicious behaviour, they should contact Trading Standards on trading.standards@lbbd.gov.uk.

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