Hotline takes on conmen

New Scam Team at South Lanarkshire Council June 2019
New Scam Team at South Lanarkshire Council June 2019

South Lanarkshire Council’s Consumer and Trading Standards team has launched a ‘Scams Alert Network’ with the aim of beating fraudsters who steal up to £7m each year from the local purse.

At the start of a fortnight’s focus on Scams Awareness across the UK, the team has revealed that in 2018 alone they dealt with 350 scam complaints, with an average value of £450 lost to each consumer.

However, given that only five per cent of scams are ever reported this could be just the tip of the iceberg. With UK wide figures reporting an average loss of £1000 per victim, there could in fact be up to £7m a year disappearing from South Lanarkshire.

Councillor John Anderson, Chair of the Community and Enterprise Resources committee, described the figures as ‘staggering’.

He added: “We think enough is enough. So we are taking a new approach by launching our ‘Scams Alert Network’. We want to give people the knowledge and information they need to recognise and avoid scams.

“We want to reduce the financial, physical and mental anguish suffered by victims. We want to minimise the impact scams can have on services across the public sector.

“Not to mention the effect on confidence, leading to isolation, withdrawal from family and community and ultimately even shortening lives.”

The Scams Alert Network will allow the team to pass up-to-date scam information to disseminate throughout organisations. To sign up to the Network, call on 0303 123 1015 or email consumer.enquiries@southlanarkshire.gov.uk.