Dangers of postal scams highlighted at launch

The 'Think Jessica Campaign' and other organisations held a conference at the Webster theatre on Monday tho highlight the dangers of postal scams. The main speakers were pictured before the event, From left: Marilyn Baldwin, Mark Hodgkisson, Matt Lancashire, Dougie McClounie, Clare McParltlin, Brian Smith.

The 'Think Jessica Campaign' and other organisations held a conference at the Webster theatre on Monday tho highlight the dangers of postal scams. The main speakers were pictured before the event, From left: Marilyn Baldwin, Mark Hodgkisson, Matt Lancashire, Dougie McClounie, Clare McParltlin, Brian Smith.

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ANGUS Council Trading Standards service hosted a postal scam publicity launch in association with the Think Jessica Campaign in the Webster Memorial Theatre on Monday.

The event was attended by local authority trading standards services, social work and health, housing, National Health Service, Scottish Police Service and voluntary and private organisations.

Marilyn Baldwin, founder of the Think Jessica Campaign, was guest speaker. She discussed the background to the charity and the new initiative: ‘Silence of the Scams’.

Her charity was initially set up after she discovered her mother was a chronic victim of postal scams.

Mark Hodgkinson, adult protection review officer, Angus Council talked about the legislation, The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act, which he uses to protect vulnerable adults from scams. He explained the role of Adult Support and Protection and how advice and assistance is offered to those who require it.

Other speakers included Matt Lancashire, social policy officer from Citizens Advice Scotland; and PC Dougie McClounie from Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, who focused on the links between scam mail and organised crime.

Brian Smith, senior trading standards officer with Angus Council and Trading Standards Institute lead officer for crime and disorder talked about the Angus model.

Angus Council environmental and consumer protection spokesperson, Councillor David May said: “All too many vulnerable people are taken in by postal scams, which can deprive them of significant sums of money.

“Unlike with junk mail, there is no means of preventing scam mail from reaching targeted households. I hope that by heightening awareness of these postal scams, people will think hard before sending money to claim fake prizes from bogus lotteries, competitions and catalogues.”

Anyone with concerns that a vulnerable person they know is responding to these scams should contact Angus Council trading standards through the ACCESSline, telephone 08452 777 778.