Scams unit saves estimated £4.5million
A scams unit set up to protect the borough’s most vulnerable residents has stopped an estimated £4.5million being lost to scams.
Dudley’s Council’s scams unit has been in operation since 2018, its aim to prevent people on “sucker lists” from being conned out of cash by financial criminals.
The people on these lists are often older, lonely and vulnerable and the criminals know they are more likely to be susceptible to financial scams.
To put a stop to this kind of activity in Dudley borough the scams unit has been working closely with residents to investigate claims of potential scams and raise awareness of the warning signs.
Since it launched the team has helped more than 550 people who have been targeted, this includes visiting nearly 400 residents and installing 141 call blockers in people’s homes to prevent nuisance calls.
Based on the number of the people the team has helped so far and its prevention work, it is estimated the unit has saved nearly £4.5million.
This figure is based on the money the unit has potentially stopped being lost to scammers and the long term associated costs of someone falling victim as stats show elderly victims are more than twice as likely to die or need extra care and support in the two year period after falling prey to scammers.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and social care, said:
In 2018 we invested £300,000 of improved better care funding to create the scams unit and help the most vulnerable people in our communities from being preyed upon by financial criminals.
The fact that it has already helped prevent nearly four and a half million pounds being lost to scams, demonstrates that this has been money well spent.
If anyone is concerned that they or someone they know may have fallen victim to financial scams, they should contact the Trading Standards’ scams team on 01384 818871 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about the scams go to www.dudley.gov.uk and search scams.