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More than £7.5 million saved in fight against scams

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More than an estimated £7.5million has been saved in the fight against scams in the last three years across Dudley borough.

Dudley Council’s scams unit was set up at the end of 2018 using the government’s ‘improved better care fund’, to tackle the growing issue of financial crime in the borough.

The unit’s primary aim is to prevent people from being targeted and conned out of cash by financial criminals.

People targeted are often older, lonely and vulnerable and criminals know they are more likely to be susceptible to financial scams.

To put a stop to this kind of activity the scams unit has been working closely with residents to investigate claims of potential scams and raise awareness of the warning signs.

The unit has also had to adapt its work through the course of the pandemic as more people of all ages have been targeted, many with covid related scams.

Using the scams intervention calculator, provided by the National Trading Standards scams team, the unit has prevented more than £7.5million being lost to scams.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

Since the unit launched, it has supported hundreds of people who have been targeted by scammers. In some cases, it has helped people argue their case and receive reimbursement from their bank.
It’s also installed call blockers in hundreds of homes helping to significantly reduce or stop the number of cold calls and potential scams people receive. This acts as a fantastic preventative measure.
£7.5million is a staggering amount to prevent being lost but is all too telling on the persistence of financial criminals in our borough.
The scams unit will continue to investigate and fight financial crime and continually adapt to respond to new scams as they emerge.

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