CITIZENS Advice chiefs are urging scam victims to come forward to try and wipe out cases of dodgy dealing.
Scammers rake in millions of pounds a year by conning peoople into offers which never come to fruition, ranging from bogus job adverts to non-existent lottery wins.
Now, Citizens Advice is asking people to pass on information through a survey about any cons they may have been either duped into or targeted by in an attempt to try and shut down the fraudsters.
Joe Michna, who runs the Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau in Park Road, said: “Fraudulent offers or deals – scams – cost people billions of pounds every year and cause untold misery and distress.
“Some of the scammers are very cunning and can catch out even the most experienced consumers. We want to do something to foil the scammers. we also want to be able to inform the local trading standards office about sharp practices targeting local people so that they have the information they need to take effective action against the scammers.
“That’s why we are urging people to take part in our survey, share their experiences and join forces with us to try and beat the scams and fraud.
“One of the common frauds locally is the prize draw scam, when people receive letters saying that they have won some kind of lottery prize but ask for up front payments or bank details before the bogus prize can be claimed.
“This survey is a great opportunity to bring to the attention of Citizens Advice the scams and frauds that concern you so please take part.
As well as asking for information, the survey also highlights some of the most common scams to make people aware of the tricks being used to con people.
To take part in the Citizens Advice Tackling Scam Survey, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/campaigns to complete the the survey form on-line or pick up a copy from the reception at CAB base in Park Road.