Post office support to tackle scammers

Our picture shows from left  - Colin Cunningham, community police officer, Arbroath; Derek Strachan, sub postmaster, Brechin; Andrew Collins, sub postmaster, Letham; Elizabeth McNeill (sitting), sub postmistress, Forfar; Brian Smith, senior trading standards officer; Mark Hodgkinson, adult protection and review officer and Darren Burnett, community police officer, Arbroath.
Our picture shows from left - Colin Cunningham, community police officer, Arbroath; Derek Strachan, sub postmaster, Brechin; Andrew Collins, sub postmaster, Letham; Elizabeth McNeill (sitting), sub postmistress, Forfar; Brian Smith, senior trading standards officer; Mark Hodgkinson, adult protection and review officer and Darren Burnett, community police officer, Arbroath.

Angus post offices have lent their support to a campaign to prevent local people from becoming the latest victims of scammers.

Many people use post offices to transfer money to scammers.

Common cons include people sending cash on the promise of lottery prizes, or transferring money to internet ‘friends’ who have asked for money under the pretext of needing help.

At a recent meeting, sub postmasters from Letham, Forfar and Brechin, agreed to work with Angus Council and the police to combat this crime. When post office staff suspect someone is being conned, they will contact specialist officers from the council and police who will offer advice and support to prevent people falling victim to scammers. The post offices will also stock and display the Scam Free Angus posters and leaflets. The work is part of Angus Council’s zero-tolerance campaign against scammers.

Earlier this year, the council became the first in Scotland to adopt a policy on financial harm and financial scams.

Elizabeth McNeill, Forfar sub postmistress said: “It is surprising how many people of all ages seem to be conned out of their money. Although sometimes this can be just a quite small amount, people can send off money frequently.

“When I became aware that social work and trading standards in Angus were offering a service it was a great relief, as I could see people being conned into parting with their money but didn’t know what services there were to help.”

Angus Council leader Iain Gaul thanked the three post offices for their support. He said: “It is important that we work together as a community to protect our citizens – especially those who are vulnerable – from falling victim to the scammers.”

If you know of any more vulnerable adult at risk of harm, or of any actual or attempted scam, whether by letter, phone internet of doorstep caller, please phone the numbers listed.