Fraud and Scams Awareness
The Community Safety Team on behalf of Safe and Sound, Dudley’s Community Safety Partnership held Fraud and Scams Awareness seminars in February this year, providing vital information on the latest scams being carried out both in the local area and nationwide.
First up was Nadeem Mohammed, LIAISE Officer (Leads in awareness, intelligence, support and education) from the England Illegal Money Lending Team stoploansharks.co.uk. Nadeem gave stark figures of APR rates of money lenders, and some of them are technically legal! He warned of illegal money lenders – also known as ‘loan sharks’ and said that lenders can be checked via the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register at register.fca.org.uk.
Chris King, Dudley Trading Standards Officer was up next. He focussed on the latest doorstep, letter and telephone scams. He said that people are massively overpaying doorstep condoorstep con-artists to complete works to their properties, Chris said that the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) produce a guideline for cost of works annually to give you an idea of what you should be charged on their website here. If you have an concerns over the legitimacy of a person or company, call the 24 hour Bogus Caller Hotline on 01384 812045.
Cyber Crime and Fraud was the next topic, PCSO Sean Long was present to give advice on staying secure online. As well as the sound advice of not clicking on suspicious links in emails and always checking that the sender is legitimate, Sean advised of useful online tools to keep you secure.
howsecureismypassword.net – check how long it would take for a computer to crack your password and get tips on how to make it more secure.
haveibeenpwned.com – find out if your email address has been compromised in any security breaches, if so where and what to do about it.
Other useful tools include Take 5 to Stop Fraud takefive-stopfraud.org.uk and the Little Book of Big Scams which can be found on met.police.uk.