A PUBLIC meeting is being held in Ludlow to try to raise awareness about the problem of scams.

The Police and Ludlow Safer Neighbourhood team will be raising awareness of some of the scams that are being practised.

Their presentation will cover the increasingly clever ways in which criminals are targeting private citizens to steal from them.

“We all feel that we will be able to spot these methods if they are aimed at us but, unfortunately, the statistics do not bear this out,” said Robin Pote of the Ludlow Town Centre Residents Association who is also a member of the Town Council.

“A great deal of their success relies on people being too embarrassed to admit that they have fallen victim to these unscrupulous individuals. This will be an opportunity to hear the stories of these people and to offer advice and support.”

“Most people assume the victims are always elderly people, possibly living on their own, this is not the case! All ages and people from all walks of life have been victims.

PC Steve Mason and PCSO Beth Hinton are trained SCAM CHAMPIONS and will provide support as well as pointing those willing to help along the simple path to becoming more aware.

“Come to the meeting, listen to the facts and safeguard yourself, and your neighbours, from falling victim to these increasingly sophisticated criminals,” added Mr Pote.

One of the features of scams is that they appear to be plausible but can often result in money being lost.

Callers will often simply ask for what appears to be innocuous information such as name, address, and date of birth but this sort of basic detail can be use in identity theft.

Information such as bank account details should never in any circumstances been given to people who are not known.

Many fraudsters will offer some kind of incentive such as the opportunity to win a prize but the adage ‘if it sounds too good to be true it probably is’ is a good one.

Cyber crime around internet fraud is one of the biggest challenges facing police especially as an increasing number of people doing banking and keep sensitive information on their computers. Likewise, smart phones provide a lucrative target for scammers

More information about the techniques used by fraudsters will be given at the meeting and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The meeting is at 7pm on Wednesday, February 21 at Ludlow Methodist Church.