BLAENAU Gwent MP Nick Smith is giving his support to Age Cymru’s campaign to stop scammers and help protect people.

Mr Smith had added his support to Age Cymru’s Scams Awareness Month, which is aiming to protect some of our most vulnerable people in society.

The Office of Fair Trading estimates scammers take £3.5bn from their victims every year, with the average victim losing £1,200.

With estimates that only five per cent of scamming incidents are reported, Mr Smith said everyone needs to know the risks so they can protect loved ones and themselves.

Age Cymru are calling for Royal Mail protocols to be changed to allow its staff to offer advice and report suspicious mail when they suspect someone is being scammed, telephone companies to offer more protection against scam phonecalls, especially from abroad, and to close down lines from offenders. They also want the Welsh Government and local authorities to dramatically increase the number of No Cold Calling Zones to protect older people from doorstep scams and make them legally enforceable.

Gerry Keighley from Age Cymru said: “Many older people who are scammed lose their life savings, their self-esteem, dignity and even their will to live.

“Families can be devastated as some older people end up trusting the scammers more than their own relatives. Age Cymru’s Scams and Swindles campaign is calling for greater protection to be provided for older people from scams by the communication companies used by the criminals to facilitate their scams.”

Mr Smith said: “From cowboy builders to pushy salespeople and mystics to fake lotteries, there are plenty of people out there wanting to separate you from your money. They prey on fears or hopes, and just one incident can have a devastating effect on someone’s finances or well-being. I’ll be talking to people on the doorstep in Blaenau Gwent and doing what I can to draw awareness to this problem.”

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