End of the line for telephone scammers

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End of the line for telephone scammers

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End of the line for telephone scammers

  1. 1. MEDIA RELEASE MARY HONEYBALL MEP 6 FEB 2009 CONTACT: +44 (0) 7966280542 End of the line for telephone scammers The plague of telephone lottery scams, phoney prize draws and pyramid schemes is to be wiped out by tough new European laws championed by London MEP Mary Honeyball this week. These laws offer consumers greater protection from scam pedlars, but as many of these scammers operate overseas, help from local councils and Trading Standards Offices to track down the culprits is needed. So over the next fortnight, London councils including Bexley, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Harrow, Greenwich, Hammersmith, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster are taking part in a nation wide “Scamnesty”. This initiative asks local people to put all scam mail in clearly marked yellow bins placed in public areas such as libraries. Speaking out in favour of these new laws local MEP Mary Honeyball said: “These laws leave no hiding place for those who prey on the vulnerable and elderly, who scam over 3 million UK consumers each year, causing them lose a staggering total of £3.5 billion to scams annually.” “Londoners’ support in tracking down these scammers by posting all scam mail in the clearly marked Scamnesty bins across the capital will help us track down these thieves and protect people’s savings in these tough economic times.” ENDS Notes to editors: Please find attached to this email a photo of Mary Honeyball MEP and Robert • Evans MEP. Mary Honeyball is a Labour Member of the European Parliament representing • London with special responsibility for Croydon, Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, City of London, Westminster, Kensington and Camden. For more information contact Holly Sutton on 07966280542 and holly@maryhoneyball.net. 1
  2. 2. Introduction to Conversational French Scam facts: • 3 million UK consumers lose a total of £3.5 billion to scams every year. • Many scams originate overseas making it difficult to track down and prosecute those involved • February is Scam Awareness month. The EU law which Labour Euro MPs called for has banned the following top scams: • Telephone lottery scams • Phoney prize draw, sweepstakes and foreign lottery mailings • Premium rate telephone number scams • Pyramid Schemes • Investment related scams which make misleading claims regarding the value of the investment. Scamnesty: February 2009 Drop off your scam mailings and help us beat the scammers! Every year 3 million people in the UK lose money to mass marketed scams, such as bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draws, get rich quick schemes, and miracle health cures. To mark Scams Awareness Month (February 2009) the OFT is working in partnership with Trading Standards Services, to run its second 'Scamnesty' campaign, asking for the public's help to fight back against the scammers. What is Scamnesty? During Scamnesty, the OFT is asking the public to deposit any scam mailings they receive in designated 'Scamnesty' bins. The yellow bins are managed by local authority trading standards services and will be located in libraries and other public areas across the country between 2-15 February. What happens to the mailings received? Records of the mailings received in each area will be collated by the OFT Scambusters team. The information will be used as intelligence to support the OFT's investigations into the scale of the problem in the UK. How can I find my local bin? Over 70 Trading Standards Services are taking part across England, Scotland & Wales, including Brent & Harrow Trading Standards Service, Ealing Council Trading Standards, Hounslow Trading Standards, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond Trading Standard See a list of all the Local Authorities participating in Scamnesty: http://www.oft.gov.uk/ oft_at_work/consumer_initiatives/scamnesty/trading 2
  3. 3. Introduction to Conversational French Please visit the relevant Local Authority website for more information on where your bins are located. Further information on scams For more information, visit the OFT's Scams Awareness campaign page: http:// www.oft.gov.uk/news/campaigns/scams/ If you think you been the victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, visit the Consumer Direct website: http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/ To register to take part in Scamnesty (TSS only) If you would like to register your Local Authority Trading Standards Services to take part in Scamnesty, please e-mail: scamspartnership@oft.gsi.gov.uk What is Scamnesty? During Scamnesty, the OFT is asking the public to deposit any scam mailings they receive in designated 'Scamnesty' bins. The yellow bins are managed by local authority trading standards services and will be located in libraries and other public areas across the country between 2-15 February. The campaign has been sparked by tough new European laws championed by London MEP Mary Honeyball. Councils taking part: Bexley Trading Standards Brent & Harrow Trading Standards Service Ealing Council Trading Standards Greenwich Trading Standards London Borough of Camden London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Richmond Trading Standards Tower Hamlets Trading Standards Wandsworth Trading Standards Westminster Trading Standards Service 3

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