Residents are warned - don’t let a scam ruin your Christmas

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Horncastle police have teamed up with Trading Standards officers and issued an appeal to residents - ‘Don’t let scammers ruin your Christmas!

More than 80 people attended a ‘Scam Engagement Awareness Day’ in Horncastle at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre and the Methodist Church.

Members of the public have reported several scams operating in the area including an attempt to obtain payment for a puppy which does not even exist.

Police and Trading Standards officers are concerned the problem of scamming will increase in the build up to Christmas.

They are urging people not to hand over money - or bank information - without thoroughly checking details first.

PCSO Nigel Wass, from Horncastle’s Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “It was good to see so many people attending the awareness day and we were able to offer support and advice.

“Scamming is a growing menace in most areas - not just Horncastle. We used to get one or two reports a month, now it’s one or two every other day.

“Those involved often target vulnerable people who can be left hundreds or even thousands of pounds out of pocket.”

PSCO Wass went on to stress scammers were becoming increasingly effective, 
using the latest technology.

He added: “It use to be rogue traders knocking on your door and asking if they could re-surface your drive.

“That is still happening, but more often these days it’s phone calls and emails.

“They are very plausible and it is all too easy for people to be drawn in. Please 
don’t give any details out - especially in regard to your bank account - if in doubt.”

PCSO Wass said the awareness event was the first time officers had heard about the ‘puppy scam’.

He added: “In the build up to Christmas, you can see why people might be tempted. People need to be vigilant.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Stuart Tweedale also attended the Awareness Day and praised the initiative.

It is hoped to avoid similar in the future.