Suffolk Raids Over Alleged Online Scams
3 November 2010, 14:45
There have been raids across the country today, including two in Ipswich, one in Lowestoft and one near Diss, over alleged online scams which are thought to have made around £6 million.
Police and trading standards officers searched ten addresses to try and stop them.
They involve websites offering work as an escort, as well as asking people for money to help with debt advice. It's thought people were often asked to pay hundreds of pounds up front, without getting anything back.
Suffolk Trading Standards has been involved as they made the link between complaints across the country, prompting an investigation. They also believe some of the originating people are from Suffolk.
Reg Ruffles from Suffolk Trading Standards told Heart, "These scams are aimed at needs. People who are perhaps in debt and this is seen as a last lifeline for them and the other one is people looking for work. It's designed to make you feel this is something really worthwhile, something you can do."
He also says people should make sure they go to recognised people, "You would go to CAB if you want debt advice, the local job centres if you are looking for work. But particularly be very careful about paying fees up front for anything. The easiest thing in the world is you pay up front and don't get anything for you money - so don't do it."
Suffolk Trading Standards also want people who may have been a victim to the alleged scams to get in touch with them either through the Suffolk County Council website or to look up Suffolk Trading Standards on Facebook.
Some of the sites involved include: