News item

BIG boost for ts scam awareness work

scamWest Yorkshire Trading Standards has been successful in its bid to the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and will be receiving close to £215,000 in Lottery good cause cash to work with older people throughout Leeds and Bradford, raising awareness of scams, fraud and the hazards of doing business on the doorstep.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards is one of seven projects in Yorkshire and the Humber sharing over £1.8 million from BIG’s Reaching Communities programme, which aims to help those most in need and build safer, stronger communities.  
Each year, Trading Standards receives thousands of complaints from residents, relating to scams, frauds and rogue traders. Thanks to BIG funding, Trading Standards will now be embarking on the Scams and Fraud Education for Residents (SAFER) initiative which will feature a combination of community workshops with prevention and early intervention activities to reduce the number of older people falling victim to fraud. A designated debt advisor, working across Leeds and Bradford, will be on hand to assist residents who have already been victims and help participants to maximise their income. Workshops will explore common scams, reveal techniques regularly used by rogue traders and work towards a better understanding of trusted trader schemes, allowing older people to build links with the local community and addressing feelings of isolation.  
Alongside workshops and early intervention for residents experiencing financial difficulty, self-help packs will be produced to include personal safety advice, useful telephone numbers and examples of common scams. Volunteers will be recruited to assist with the delivery of older people’s workshops and community members trained up as community champions, acting as the  ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, identifying potential problems and keeping abreast of new scams. It is estimated that approximately 5,000 older people will have the opportunity to engage with the scheme, while 400 volunteers and 250 community champions will be recruited.
Councillor Neil Taggart, Chair of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards,  said: “We know that older, vulnerable adults often fall victim to scams and frauds all too easily. Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund we will be able to work more closely with local communities to build resilience to bogus callers, doorstep criminals and fraudsters, to avoid residents becoming prey to rogue traders and increasing their confidence to say ‘no' to doorstep callers.”
For further information on West Yorkshire Trading Standards SAFER initiative or to get involved you can follow us on Twitter @wytradstandards or visit our blog
Or contact Dawn Mason on 0113 393 9819 email
Notes to editors:
For further information please contact Dawn Mason 0113 393 9819
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.