PCC Mark Shelford has welcomed the Government’s plans to ban cold calls with the launch of an eight-week consultation, marking the next step in delivering the national Fraud Strategy.
The consultation covers proposals to ban cold calls offering any financial products to clamp down on fraudsters seeking to trick people into buying investments. Once in force, residents receiving cold calls offering these types of products will know that it is a scam, and fewer people will become victims.
The consultation paper explores how best to design and implement this ban to prevent scam calls from reaching the public while allowing legitimate and beneficial communications from businesses to continue.
Fraudulent investment schemes represent a significant threat with victims losing £750million between 2022-23 according to data from the City of London Police.
In addition to the national consultation, a specialist team that provides support to victims of fraud – known as the National Economic Crime Victim Care Unit – has been rolled out to all 43 police forces across England and Wales since the Fraud Strategy was announced.
Last year, its teams supported more than 113,000 victims and its rollout to all police forces will ensure more people receive the help and support they need.
In Avon and Somerset, this support is in addition to the policing service’s dedicated fraud and cyber protect teams who are committed to supporting victims of fraud and educating people and businesses to help them prevent becoming victims in the first place.
“Cold calling for financial services and products is just one of many tricks that fraudsters have up their sleeves. If cold calling for such services is banned, people can be sure it is not a legitimate offer and, in turn, we can stop more people becoming victims.
“Scammers purposely target the most vulnerable in our communities, which doesn’t just lead to financial loss but also impacts people’s mental health. I very much welcome this step forward to block fraud at the source and look forward to the outcome of the consultation.”PCC Mark Shelford