New £7.5million “Scambuster” action plan announced

A £7.5million action plan aimed at preventing scams has been announced by John Hutton.

The business secretary announced today details of the new Trading Standards teams.

Mr Hutton claimed that the “Scambuster” teams would tackle prize draw scams, cowboy builders, counterfeiters and door-to-door salespeople.

“Cold calling fraudsters who prey on the elderly and vulnerable bring fear to our communities. We are determined to shut them down and bring them to justice,” he said.

“These illegal scams cost people in the UK billion of pounds each year. Consumers deserve a fair deal, not to be ripped off or conned by the bogus sellers that give legitimate business a bad name.”

The scheme has been piloted in the Midlands and north-east, with combined teams working in the south-east, east and London and since September 2006 is estimated that to have saved consumers £3 million.

It is claimed that as many as three million UK consumers a year are victims of scams sent by post, email, text, phone and the internet, at a cost of £3.5 billion.

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