A shared service delivering Environmental Health, Licensing and Trading Standards across Bracknell Forest Council and West Berkshire Council

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22nd May 2023 - Scam Awareness Week

Scam Awareness Week 22nd May - 28th May

Be Scam Aware - Don’t let scammers steal your money!

Citizens Advice West Berkshire (CAWB), and West Berkshire Council’s Public Protection Partnership have launched their annual Scams Awareness campaign to encourage people to report scams, share their experiences and look out for others.

To help stop more people being scammed, here are their top tips on how to spot scams

  • Traders who knock on your door, or cold-call you, offering deals and asking for upfront payments
  • You are being pressured to transfer money quickly or in an unusual way like by Amazon vouchers or a money transfer service
  • You have been asked to give away personal information or PINs

 If you’ve been scammed:

  • Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment
  • Call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or visit citizensadvice.org.uk/scamsadvice We’ll pass the details of the scam to the local Trading Standards service and can offer further advice
  • West Berkshire residents can call Citizens Advice West Berkshire on 01635 516605 and leave a message
  • Report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ They’ll also issue a crime reference number

You can find out more about staying safe from scams on the Citizens Advice website here

Call Blockers 

We're all aware of scams targeting the elderly and the vulnerable. Many of these start with a simple phone call, but can result in the victim losing thousands of pounds. 

An incredibly useful tool is a telephone call blocker which provides an interception and screening process for all incoming calls.  It is a simple device that can work with the existing phone and it can be installed and set up within 10 minutes.  It's small so can be tucked away so as not to cause any concern or worry to the resident.  It dials into a central control panel on a weekly basis to keep itself updated with known scam telephone numbers and these are automatically blocked.  Friends and family and important numbers can be added to a trusted caller list allowing those calls to get through immediately.  There are different levels of settings depending on the vulnerability of the person receiving the calls and so can also be very useful for those suffering with Alzheimer's or Dementia.

These devices can be supplied and fitted free of charge via the Public Protection Partnership on a permanent loan basis, to be returned when no longer needed.  Since 2017 the Public Protection Partnership have installed 80 call blockers to protect older and vulnerable people from nuisance and scam phone calls. So far 43,878 calls have been blocked, and trueCall* estimate that as a result of the blockers been installed 71 scams have been prevented. Residents, and their families, feels happier and safer knowing that when their phone rings it will be someone they want to talk to.

If you have a vulnerable relative or neighbour living in Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire or Wokingham and you feel that they could benefit from this safeguarding measure then please contact PPP for more information at tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519930.

Call Blocker details click here.


West Berkshire