Hertfordshire County Council launches new campaign to prevent scams

Published: 19 Mar 2019

Maev Dunmore from Stevenage is one of many people to have been a scam victim in Hertfordshire.

In a new video from Hertfordshire County Council, Maev explains how as a recent widow, rogue traders targeted her and then scammed her out of thousands of pounds.

Maev was originally quoted £64 to replace a few loose roof tiles, but her trader made her believe there were more serious issues with her roof that required more and more work. A few days later, the quote had gone up to £28,500.

“He and his mate went up into my loft and came back down and said, ‘I think you’re going to need your roof replaced’, and my heart sank,” said Maev. “I was pretty sure I was being scammed, but I was frightened, and ashamed, and embarrassed by it.”

Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Terry Hone, said: “Maev’s experience reflects what is happening to many people across Hertfordshire every month.

“While anyone can be targeted by scammers, the average age of a scam victim in the UK is 75. That’s why we’re asking for your help to prevent your older relatives or neighbours becoming victims.”

Yvonne Bartlett, Senior Trading Standards Officer at Hertfordshire County Council, said:  “There are a few signs to look out for that reveal someone you know might be getting scammed. You might have noticed your neighbour or relative getting a lot of packages, going through cheque books very quickly, or having work done on their house out of the blue.”

Throughout the campaign, Hertfordshire County Council will be sharing more signs that someone you know might be a victim, on its social media channels. But what should you do if you suspect your friend or relative is a victim?

“Once Maev realised something wasn’t right, she felt too afraid to speak out,” said Yvonne. “It’s important to reassure victims that they’re not alone and they shouldn’t feel embarrassed about what’s happened to them.

“If you think someone you know has been scammed you can contact the Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 040506, who will pass on details to Trading Standards.”

Maev wants to remind residents that anybody can be targeted by scammers: “You can be as guarded as you like, and somehow or another they can get round you.”

Our Trading Standards team regularly send out scam alerts to warn you about the latest scams affecting Hertfordshire residents, giving you time to warn your older friends and relatives.

Sign up for the Consumer Advice alerts at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/updateme