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Trading Standards to help scam victims get their money back

Published: 04/09/2014

Flintshire County Council Trading Standards have joined forces with the National Scams Team in an operation to help return money to victims of scams. The National Scams Team was set up by the National Trading Standards Board and is hosted by East Sussex Trading Standards. They work in partnership with the other national organisations to track down scammers and seize scam mail and money they have tried to scam out of innocent victims. The types of scams they have uncovered so far include claims that people have won foreign lotteries and prize draws or that there are miracle health cures and even bogus inheritance claims. Because of the promise of large sums of money some people have sent money in the hope that they will win these fictitious prizes. In some cases where the scam has been detected the National Scams Team have been able recover monies paid over by identified victims. Where the victim is a Flintshire resident officers from Flintshire Trading Standards will visit to provide support and advice on how scams work and how to spot them and in instances where money has been recovered return it to them. Councillor Kevin Jones Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Waste Strategy, Public Protection and Leisure said: This is an excellent example of partnership working between local authorities and national enforcers. It disrupts the scammers and helps the Trading Standards service identify and then assist victims of scams, some of whom become repeat victims. Richard Powell Team Leader for Flintshire Trading Standards Investigations said: Scams are becoming more sophisticated all the time making it difficult for us to identify victims. This project not only gives us the opportunity to return money to victims but also gives the opportunity for us to sit down with them, advise them and educate them on what to look out for. We put weekly updates on our Facebook page and Twitter account on what the latest scams are and where to report them to help people recognise and avoid them. To report a scam contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit