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Commissioner awards 260,000 grant to Citizens Advice to support thousands of residents being targeted by scammers
Thousands of residents being targeted by scammers will be helped to avoid becoming victims with a £260, 000 grant from Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The money will help fund two of David Lloyd’s key ambitions - to keep crime low in Hertfordshire and to focus on victims.
His Community Safety Grant for the Herts Scams Support and Prevention Project will be run by Citizens Advice Hertfordshire for the next two years at a cost of £130,000 a year.

Funding will be used to employ three full-time scam advisors who will train 600 volunteers and other workers across the county to focus on fraud prevention and repeat victimisation.

Mr Lloyd says: “This is one of the biggest single awards I have made from my Community Safety Grant but cyber-crime and fraud is the most prevalent crime in Hertfordshire.

“I have always promised to keep crime low and help crime victims – this project will help do both and benefit at least two thousand residents.
“My role does not just involve policing, I have a responsibility to tackle the causes of crime and focus on changing lives for the better. These despicable scams often target elderly and vulnerable citizens. I want to take the embarrassment and shame out of being a victim of fraud so that we can provide support.”

Statistics from Action Fraud reported that in 2018 over six months 6,272 frauds were reported in Hertfordshire costing victims £12.9m.
Nina Villa, Chief Executive of Stevenage Citizens Advice said: “Citizens Advice provide free, confidential advice to anyone who needs it and we have a presence in every community in Hertfordshire. We regularly provide advice to vulnerable people who are in danger of becoming, or who already victims, of scams. We are hugely grateful to the Commissioner for his support for our work to combat this horrible crime and provide confidential and impartial support to those who affected by ruthless scammers”.

Advisors and workers in the scheme will be trained to spot the signs of scam victims and offer face-to-face support for those who are being targeted as well as working with partners across the County to raise awareness and help prevent people becoming victims.
They aim to reach at least 2,000 over the three year period and help them recover any loses.

The grant follows a successful pilot last year in Three Rivers where over 400 people were supported and helped to avoid having money fraudulently taken.
Types of crimes they dealt with included internet pop up scams for diet pills, a pop-up stall at a supermarket selling kitchens which never arrived and cold caller on the telephone asking for money.