Hammersmith & Fulham residents are being asked by the borough’s Trading Standards Team to help catch conmen targeting the elderly and vulnerable.
Trading Standards is asking people to drop all leaflets or letters they receive about bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draws and sweepstakes, fake psychics or miracle health cures into designated ‘Scamnesty’ boxes.
The boxes are available in the reception areas of Fulham Town Hall and Hammersmith Town Hall, H&F Direct on the first floor of Hammersmith Town Hall Extension, the Environment Department on the third floor of the Extension, and at the housing office at 145 King Street in Hammersmith.
All information gathered from the boxes will then be shared with the Office of Fair Trading.
Cabinet member for crime and street scene, Councillor Greg Smith, said: “All too often elderly and vulnerable residents fall victim to a postal scam thought up by unscrupulous conmen. One lady in our borough sent tens of thousands of pounds to an address believing that in return she would receive winnings from a foreign lottery but, of course, it was all made-up.
“We do not want that to happen again to anyone. If residents let us know what kind of scams are out there then we can work hard with other local authorities and the Office of Fair Trading to eradicate these cruel frauds.”
Scams cost the UK an estimated £3.5 billion a year. For advice and information on how to avoid con-tricks, residents can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.