West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is standing against Scams (6 June 2018)

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is raising awareness of scams as part of national Scam Awareness Month.

Some top tips to avoid scams include:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Reject cold calls offering investments or pension advice.
  • If in doubt, don't reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
  • If you receive an unsolicited email that doesn't seem right - do not click on any links.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • You shouldn't have to pay anything to get a prize. If you're put under pressure to respond, it's probably a scam.

Scam Awareness Month was created by Citizen's Advice and runs throughout June. The initiative aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who 'don't miss a trick' when it comes to scams.

The month is an opportunity to learn more about scams, how to avoid them and the support available for victims.

Mark became a SCAMbassador in January which is part of a scheme run by the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and other partners to protect everyone from scams. Mark works with members of the community in and at a national level to educate and support those who may be vulnerable to scams.

Mark said: "The reality is that anyone can become a victim of scams.

"Scams damage lives and can severely affect people both financially and emotionally. I want to do what I can to help prevent people falling foul of scammers so I am happy to carry out my work as a SCAMbassador.

"It is particularly important to safeguard those that are vulnerable and that's why I also part fund The West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team, which is made up of co-located specialists from West Yorkshire Police, adult social care and Trading Standards. The Team investigate financial exploitation and abuse of vulnerable and older victims and have achieved a number of successful prosecutions, so far preventing over £1million going into the pockets of scammers!"

Linda Davis, Head of the WYFEAT task force, said: "Scams are operated by criminals with the sole purpose of identifying and exploiting people who are often vulnerable, elderly or have cognitive difficulties. The average West Yorkshire victim has lost £4,900 to scams but some have lost their homes, their life savings and many thousands of pounds. The West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team supports victims and helps them to recognise the signs of scams and prevent further money from being lost to the scammers"

To find out more about protecting yourself from scams visit https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018