Financial safeguard team a success

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HAMPSHIRE County Council’s Trading Standards team has helped recover £500,000 for vulnerable people since it set up a financial safeguarding unit in 2009.

The Financial Abuse Safeguarding Unit was set up to help those who have been financially abused by scams or unscrupulous traders to negotiate settlements without the need for court action.

It works with adult services and the police to visit victims and looks to find a fair deal or refund if the person is unable to take action themselves.

The council says incidents include fraudsters contacting elderly or vulnerable residents and manipulating them into buying missold goods, timeshares or insurance, signing up to unwanted phone contracts and other scams.

Council leader Cllr Ken Thornber said: ‘This is an outstanding scheme and a very powerful tool to tackle incidents of financial abuse among Hampshire’s vulnerable residents.

‘Reaching the £500,000 mark is a great achievement and is testament to the dedication of its committed staff.’