MP’s event helps residents to get ‘Scam Smart’

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SPREADING awareness of scams and protecting one another from them is the key to tackling fraudsters, according to residents.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage held her Scam Smart event at Thorngate Halls in Bury Road yesterday – with hundreds of residents from the area arriving to find out about what scams are going on in the area and how they can protect themselves from them.

On the panel, from left, Caroline Dinenage MP, Jullie Gallagher of Hampshire County Council's trading standards team, and Amy Rutter of Gosport's Citizens Advice Bureau. Scam Smart event at Thorngate Hall, Gosport          Picture: Chris Moorhouse

On the panel, from left, Caroline Dinenage MP, Jullie Gallagher of Hampshire County Council's trading standards team, and Amy Rutter of Gosport's Citizens Advice Bureau. Scam Smart event at Thorngate Hall, Gosport Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The event was hosted by the MP after she learned that more than 3m people are affected by scams and lose almost £10bn each year.

At the event, residents heard from a number of speakers about what they can do about scams.

Fredrick Love, 88 from Gosport, said: ‘We have been looking at all the stalls here and have picked up lots of reading material for this evening.

‘I consider myself to be fairly wise when it comes to computing, for example, but that doesn’t make me immune from being caught out.

‘Just a brief moment of mental lapse can lead to you becoming a victim of a scam – so I think it’s very important that the MP has organised an event like this so that people can learn how best to protect themselves.’

Mr Love’s wife, 87-year-old Evelyn, said: ‘I think it’s very important to hold events like this.

‘My bag is full of advice from all the stalls here, so we shall be reading up on this later on.’

Sarah-Rae Stringer, also from the Gosport area, said: ‘I have found the event to be very informative.

‘It’s very helpful to learn about these scams and talk to people from places like the Older Person’s Forum and Citizens Advice about them.

‘I am quite keen on my gadgets – one thing I did learn today is that I can register my mobile phone so that it doesn’t get targeted by cold callers.’

Caroline Dinenage MP says she was pleased that residents have taken on board advice from experts in the field.

She said: ‘Today has been really interesting – it means that Gosport residents are better equipped to defend themselves from scams.

‘The figures on scams are very upsetting and so the more we can do to give people the skills they need to protect each other, the better; we all need to look out for one another.’