‘Not Born Yesterday’ campaign Neighbours and relatives of elderly and vulnerable people are being urged to join a campaign to crack down on rogue traders and scammers. Called “Not Born Yesterday”, the Sheffield City Council-led campaign highlights the collaboration between Sheffield’s Trading Standards and Adult Safeguarding services and brings together a network of partners including South Yorkshire Police, Age UK Sheffield and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. Mail and telephone scams, rogue trading and doorstep crime are prevalent across the city but go largely unreported. This campaign is delivered through organisations and community groups – using the help of concerned friends, neighbours and relatives – who are best placed to spot the signs of this type of financial abuse and provide an effective and confidential route to refer concerns. Spotting the warning signs and providing support to victims is a key aim of the project. Those being helped might be someone receiving lots of junk letters for mail order products and prize draws, being pestered by scam calls, or being targeted at the door for unnecessary property repairs or gardening work. Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “We know that some of the most vulnerable people in Sheffield sadly won’t have face-to-face contact with many people on a daily basis, which is why it’s important that we use those living and working in our communities to look out for these people and be aware of the signs of scams and rogue trading. “We will be raising awareness of these issues through public spaces such as community centres, GPs surgeries, libraries and other places that act as hubs of the community. “It is a sad fact that criminals prey on the most vulnerable but, by raising awareness of the problem and giving people the knowledge they need to help spot the signs, we aim to reduce the level of offending and the risk of being a repeat victim of these types of crime. “The message is to friends, families and neighbours – you can help. “Is someone you know receiving lots of junk mail? Have they had work carried out on their house by someone who called at the door and demanded payment in cash? “If so, let us know, and we can take strong, firm action against these criminals who take advantage of elderly people for their own financial gain.” Sheffield Trading Standards has identified more than 600 residents in Sheffield who are known to be targeted by scam mail. National statistics suggest that at least half of scam victims lose more than £50, while five per cent lose more than £5,000. A third of adults responding to post or phone scams will then be repeatedly targeted with requests for money or sensitive personal details. Last year, officers intervened in more than 30 serious incidents of doorstep crime involving elderly or vulnerable residents. The team investigated a similar number of allegations of rogue trading where people suffered “serious” financial loss. The Not Born Yesterday network provides strong links between partners and improves the opportunities to safeguard individuals and pursue those involved in this type of criminality. South Yorkshire Police’s force lead for burglary, Detective Chief Inspector Jade Brice, said: “South Yorkshire Police are committed to protecting members of the public, particularly vulnerable members of the public, who may be targeted by bogus and rogue scammers. “The number of reports we receive relating to bogus calls do tend to increase at this time of year, but we have been working to put plans in place to prevent this increase and work with residents to provide them with advice and information on how to spot bogus and rogue scammers.” A spokesman for Age UK Sheffield said: “Age UK Sheffield regularly hears of older people being targeted by unscrupulous and unsolicited traders. If in doubt, older people should contact Trading Standards. Or, for independent advice, contact us on 0114 250 2850.” Anyone who has concerns that someone they know may be a victim of scammers or rogue traders should call 03454 040506 or email trading.standards@sheffield.gov.uk