Hartlepool scam warning campaign gets off to a good start

Joe Michna, manager of Citizens Advice Hartlepool.

Joe Michna, manager of Citizens Advice Hartlepool.

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Consumer protection chiefs say a campaign to raise awareness of scams has got off to a positive start.

Trading Standards and Citizens Advice officials in Hartlepool are working together to offer advice to people as part of the national Scam Awareness Month, which runs throughout July.

If you come across something that seems suspicious, seek advice so you do not put yourself at risk

Joe Michna

The first public event was held at NatWest bank, in York Road, on Friday, which generated much interest and requests for information from customers.

The campaign is urging people to adopt a three-point rule if they suspect they may have been contacted by a scammer: get advice, report it, and tell others about it.

Citizens Advice Hartlepool manager, Joe Michna, said: “Our campaign has got off to a great start. There is much public interest in the campaign because literally anyone could be a scam victim.

“My message to local residents is that if you come across something that seems suspicious, seek advice so you do not put yourself at risk.

“It is vital to report scams and spread the word so other people can be alerted to the scam.”

Common scams reported to Citizens Advice are victims persuaded to invest money into fake ventures and are then unable to get their money back; fake services; cold callers pretending to be a legitimate company, asking for credit or debit card details; and people informed that they have won a big money prize but they either need to give their bank details first or make an upfront payment.

Tomorrow the advice roadshow visits Middleton Grange shopping centre, and on Friday, it will be at Barclays Bank, York Road, from 9.30am to noon.