Hundreds of residents sent in copies of the hated 'Focus leaflet' scam...
Seriously though, as I blogged last month, Darlington Borough Council took part in the recent Office of Fair Trading awareness campaign to help combat mass marketing scams. During the campaign, scams including bogus lotteries, prize draws and miracle health cures were targeted. We also launched a "scamnesty" in the Borough, when we asked residents to drop off suspicious mailings in special bins around the town.
We had a really strong response to the initative, and we've passed the evidence collected to the Scambusters Team at the Office of Fair Trading to try to help prevent other people being scammed. Officers have calculated that the value of 'winnings' from the scam mailings recovered during the scamesty in Darlington was more than £78 million.
As well as dealing with the scams themselves, I'm sure this has been a valuable exercise in raising awareness of letter and email scams, particularly amongst the more vulnerable in our society.