Operation to tackle scamming highlighted at community council

At the recent Inveresk Community Council meeting, members were informed about an operation launched to help tackle mass mailing scams.

Operations CARPUS is a joint campaign run by Angus Council and Police Scotland to help tackle fraud and scams carried out by mass mail.

Acting on information from the National Scam Hub, the police will visit people who may have been victims of financial scamming.

If scamming is found to have taken place, steps will be taken to prevent any further loss and advice and assistance will be offered to the individuals involved.

Brechin community officer, PC Billy Rattray, said at the meeting: “It’s a hugely under-reported issue.

“Around 200 people have been identified as vulnerable to theses kind of scams in Angus.“

PC Rattray added: “If you are aware of any neighbours or relatives who receive large amounts of this type of scam letters, it could be a sign that they have responded.”

During the meeting, it was also revealed to community councillors that the cost to the UK economy of this type of fraud is £3.5 billion per year.

Speaking at the time that Operation CARPUS was announced, Glennis Middleton, convener of social work and health at Angus Council, said: “We know that many of our citizens are victimised by scammers and that millions are lost to the local economy every year.

“I am delighted that our policy on financial harm is proving to be far more than just a document, but is actually resulting in focused action by council staff and partners to reduce the amount of harm occurring.”

Gordon Milne, Angus local area commander for Police Scotland, added: “Operation CARPUS is something we are taking extremely seriously. We know that there is a strong link between mail and phone scams and serious and organised national and international criminal gangs. With our partners, we will do everything we can to keep Angus people safe from these evil and vile crimes.”

Anyone worried that they have been a victim of a scam can seek help from the council’s trading standards team via ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778, or Police Scotland on 101. To get alerts and information on scams in the area follow @ScamFreeAngus on Twitter.

PC Rattray also highlighted a charity set up to tackle this issue, called ThinkJessica. The charity’s website outlines the type of mail scams operating in the UK. For more, visit www.thinkjessica.com