Rochford residents are getting tips on how to spot the signs of a scam in a scheme to prevent locals becoming victims of fraud.
Sanctuary Housing has teamed up with Citizens Advice Rochford and Rayleigh to fund a series of free advice sessions.
The first drop-in session takes place in the lounge at Millview Court, in Lever Lane, Rochford, from 2pm to 3.30pm on 27 March with more events in coming months.
Residents will hear about the main ways criminals lure people into a scam and signs to look out for during phone calls or in emails, texts and letters.
Three million people in the UK are victims to scams each year and nearly nine in every ten victims of a phone scam are aged over 55, according to Citizens Advice. Although anyone can be conned, common targets are those who live alone, have dementia, are at home during the day or have savings and valuables.
Chris Silvey, Sanctuary Housing’s resident involvement officer for Rochford, said: “Crooks are always thinking up new ways to con innocent people out of money and their personal details, so these sessions will play a part in educating residents in the fight against crime and helping our communities be safe places to live.”
Sue Murray, from Citizens Advice Rayleigh and Rochford, added: “We are working with Sanctuary Housing to raise awareness of the signs to look out for in a scam as we have experience in this field. Our first hand evidence shows that scams are on-going and forever changing in character, so these sessions should provide important information to help residents avoid becoming another victim.”
The donation was provided by Sanctuary through its Maureen’s Gift fund which supports charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations in need of donations to help deliver community activities. It was set up in 2011 in memory of local community champion and former chairperson of the local board in Rochford, Maureen Vince.
To find out more information, contact Chris Silvey on 01702 533461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.