A review published by the National Audit Office called ‘Protecting consumers from scams, unfair trading and unsafe goods’ has been welcomed by Polegate MP, Maria Caulfield.
The report highlights that although the consumer protection landscape has improved, it still remains desperately under-funded to tackle the range of complex issues that it faces.
The National Audit Office (NAO) estimates that consumers lost at least £14.8 billion in 2015, of which £4.2 billion is estimated to be hidden and unreported detriment from problems such as mass marketing fraud and counterfeit goods.
The National Trading Standards has made a good impact upon preventing consumer protection issues; having prevented £345 million worth of detriment to consumers since April 2014. Indeed, Maria has been working with Lewes Citizens Advice bureau on this very issue and the Scams Trading Standards team recently came and spoke at the annual meeting in Seaford to highlight the risk facing local people in East Sussex.
Maria commented, “This publication has highlighted some key issue that need to be addressed in order to ensure National Trading Standards have the resources they need to do their vital work. Locally the scams team have been working with me, Royal Mail and Lewes Citizens Advice to ensure that our residents are not the target of scam mail, rogue traders and online scams. Sussex is particularly vulnerable to scam operations given its elderly population and it is vital that Trading Standards have the resources they need to not just protect the public direct but educate key people to look out and support those at risk.”