Government has announced it will invest £7.5 million in further developing the Trading Standards 'Scambusters' teams around the country. The announcement comes during the Office of Fair Trading's 'Scams Awareness Month'.
Scambusters was set up in September 2005 with the aims of targeting the most prevalent and harmful mass-marketing scams. The announcement by John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, means that Scambusters’ future will be ensured until 2011.
John Hutton said: "Illegal scams cost people in the UK billions of pounds each year. Consumers deserve a fair deal, not to be ripped off or conned by the bogus sellers that give legitimate business a bad name. This team is doing great work to shut them down and bring them to justice."
Trading Standards Institute chief executive, Ron Gainsford said; "I greatly welcome this raised level of Government investment in the fight against scams. The new and more sustained funding package illustrates Government's ongoing faith in the special ability of Trading Standards professionals to bring fraudsters, wherever their location, to task. There is no hiding place.
"£7.5 million will help my professional colleagues and local authorities across the country to further join forces and have a real impact on those that so readily bring despair and misery to the lives of so many. This is good news for consumers and for all who have a stake in fair markets and a just society."
It is hoped that the extra funding will help crack down on some of the hardest to tackle rogue traders. The Scambusters teams will concentrate in particular on "cold calling home maintenance traders, counterfeiters and illegal car boot sellers and traders who use deceptive selling techniques to target the vulnerable".