A woman who was conned out of £250,000 in a dating scam has been praised for appearing in a video designed to help stop other people becoming victims.
The video will be released shortly and is part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the increasing menace of scamming.
Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Stuart Tweedale - the county’s ‘scambassador’ - said he hoped the video would make people aware of the potential dangers.
Mr Tweedale is working tirelessly with police and other organisations to highlight the increasing menace of scams.
He has toured the county in recent months, warning about scams and listening to what he describes as the often ‘ heartbreaking’ stories of victims.
He is urging other victims to come forward after telling them: ‘Support is there - there is no need to suffer in silence.’
Regarding the video, Mr Tweedale said: “We are working on the final stage.
“The woman has been fatastic because it can be embarrassing for anyone to admit they are the victim of a scam - no matter what the circumstances.
“This woman wants to help, and hopefully by telling her story, it will mean other people will avoid a similar experience.”
Mr Tweedale says it is often a case of people taking a few simple steps to avoid being scammed.
He was speaking before attending an Age UK Lindsey coffee morning at Horncastle Community Centre.
Mr Tweedale was joined by PCSO Nigel Wass and representatives from Lincolnshire Trading Standards.
He explained: “The more meetings and events we attend, the more people we can get the message across to.
“It’s about raising awareness and helping anyone who is a victim of a scam.
“Sometimes, we can put them in touch with organisations who can help - the police or Trading Standards - but sometimes, it’s just about listening.
“Nearly every meeting we go to, at least a couple of people come forward and talk about their experiences.
“Some of the stories are heartbreaking and it can be embarrassing for victims, but often those personal experiences are the best way of raising awareness.”
Mr Tweedale went on to admit it was a ‘never ending battle’ trying to reduce scamming.
He said scammers were becoming increasingly effective, with some even posing as police officers in a bid to obtain people’s personal information.
He added: “It is not something we are going to stop completely. Years ago, it used to be people knocking on your door. That is still happening, but there’s also phones, mail and the internet.
“They (scammers) are very convincing. They often prey on vulnerable people, like the elderly.”
According to Mr Tweedale, the best advice is never give out any details, especially bank accounts. He added: “Always check.
“If someone rings or knocks on your door offering something that sounds too good to be true, remember, it probably is.”