Elderly hit by fraudsters

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A new campaign has been launched in a bid to stem the sickening toll of frauds carried out against vulnerable local people.

Scores of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth elderly residents have been ripped off by doorstep salesmen carrying out poor quality or unnecessary work, and some also fell victim to theft.

Now North Lanarkshire Council has teamed up with Police Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council to produce an information pack designed to raise awareness of the threat posed by con men and plain criminals.

In Lanarkshire overall, more than 400 incidents of doorstep crime were recorded in 2013, with residents falling victim to thefts or paying for shoddy or pointless work to their home.

The information pack was launched at an event run by the Voice of Experience Forum, which promotes community safety among older people.

It includes a training pack, DVD and booklet giving practical advice and contact details for organisations offering help and support.

Environmental services convener, Councillor Helen McKenna, said: “Some criminals make their living from preying on older, vulnerable people in their own homes, and we are determined to do everything we can to prevent this despicable crime,” “

The information pack is designed to tell residents how to prevent doorstep callers getting into their home or being scammed by bogus workmen.

It also gives advice on consumer rights and how to find a reputable trader, as well as who to contact if people are worried about unwanted callers.”

Doorstep crime consists of two main separate types of offences, bogus callers and rogue traders, both of which can have a devastating effect if you fall victim to them.”

Anyone concerned about doorstep callers is urged to call Cumbernauld’s trading standards team, or police.