What is the Scams Project?
Many people don't realise that they are being targeted. One local man we helped told us that he couldn't be scammed because he only had his pension. We managed to save him hundreds of pounds a month, some of which he didn't even know was being taken out by of his account by scam companies. He says it feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders. http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/businessman-conned-41-grand-victims/story-28979683-detail/story.html
We are looking to work with people who are responding to unwanted mail, especially people who are sending money. We know that it can be hard to admit, and that sometimes people can feel embarrassed, but we are here to help. We won't think you're silly, or make you feel foolish for responding to this very credible professionally produced material and the well practised techniques used by the scammers. Anyone can be susceptible.
The Scams Team who work for Citizens Advice Charnwood and Leicestershire Trading Standards Service are expert in identifying what is and is not a scam and can help you to break the habit by getting the amount of post and calls you receive down, and getting intrusive calls stopped. We have saved many people hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds.
We also use the information we receive about companies who are operating scams to identify them and give important information to the National Scams team.
If you are eligible for our help we will visit you at home to discuss your circumstances and help you with personally tailored support. Contact us either by dropping into your local Citizens Advice Office, or call the Citizens Advice Telephone Advice Line on 0300 3301025 or call Ann Bates on 01509 221204.
If you work for an organisation in Leicestershire and feel that they would benefit from a talk about scams and how they operate, with a view to working with us, please call Citizens Advice Charnwood on 01509 221204 and ask for Ann Bates.
Ann Bates Scams Advice Officer, and Nick Dawes Leics. Trading Standards Service, Trading Standards Officer.
If you know of ANY unfair trading please contact your local Citizens Advice, or the Leicestershire contact centre on 0300 3301025.
In order to help put a stop to unfair trading practices in the county Citizens Advice Charnwood and all other Citizens Advice services in the county have teamed up with Leicestershire Trading Standards services through a scheme called Consumer Information Gathering Service.
The Consumer Information Gathering Service? (CIGs)
CIGs was set up in 2011 and is now a partnership between Leicestershire Trading Standards Service and Leicestershire Citizens Advice, funded by Leicestershire Trading Standards. We are based at Citizens Advice Charnwood in Loughborough but the service is county wide.
Citizens Advice branches and the telephone Contact Centre help many clients with consumer problems, often with information/advice as to how to get money back, get work finished or deal with missing/faulty goods.
The CIGs service looks at all the consumer cases dealt with by Leicestershire Citizens Advice in order to see if there may be unfair trading. Unfair Trading is a specific set of offences, rather than "it doesn't seem fair", and includes doorstep selling, issues around misleading claims, scams counterfeit goods and a range of other offences.
Where appropriate, and with the clients express consent we will send a report to LTSS about traders who may be acting unlawfully, explaining what the client says the trader has done wrong, and including the trader and client details.
What do Leicestershire Trading Standards Service do? Trading Standards role is to inform and to educate traders so that they can trade lawfully. Where traders fail to comply with the law they are the main enforcement body which can bring prosecutions for unfair trading. How do they work in Leicestershire?
Leicestershire Trading standards do not normally deal with individual enquiries from the public. They do not have a public telephone number.
They work on what is called an intelligence led approach, this means that they look at complaints about particular local traders from for example Citizens Advice Consumer helpline, the police, other trading standards offices and of course CIGs. They use this information to decide how to prioritise their work based on the type and number of complaints they get about local traders.
They can only normally act against traders who's trading address is in Leicestershire (not including Leicester City), although sometimes they pass information on to other TSS offices, to the police, to Action Fraud, and to the Financial Conduct Authority.