Elderly and vulnerable people “at risk” with more and more people returning to their offices, chiefs warn


Bosses said criminals have adjusted during the pandemic and can strike with fewer people to keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbors.

The annual report – the NTS Consumer Harm Report – found that complaints about home criminals declined nationwide in the year 2020-2021.

But they warned there had been a 76% increase in mass marketing scams from the previous year, with an increase also occurring in Staffordshire.

County leaders said they had seen the same drop in home crime reports and the same increase in mass market scams, including those related to Covid-19.

Councilor Victoria Wilson, a member of the Communities Cabinet at Staffordshire County Council, said: ‘It has been a particularly difficult 18 months for our Trading Standards department, especially when we take into account the pandemic which has given criminals another vehicle to target us with a whole range of new scams.

“Both nationally and in Staffordshire we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of email, text, phone and mail scams and it is very worrying to think that one in three people may have been. affected. The reduction in home crime was welcome, but not much of a surprise as a lot of people were at home and unable to travel, but unfortunately criminals do not sit still and quickly adapt their tactics to online or SMS scams. .

“I understand that many scams can seem genuine, but please read all communications carefully and do not respond right away without thinking or talking to someone. If in any doubt, ignore the offer, delete the e -mail or hang up the phone if it’s a phone call. As always, people should be wary of any unsolicited approach. “

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