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Nottinghamshire Police teams up with garden centres, including Hollybeck, Southwell, to tackle fraud

Protect officers have been encouraging the public to “think scams” after teaming up with a host of garden centres to help tackle fraud.

Criminals worldwide are tricking millions of people into parting with vast sums every year through a variety of cunning scams.

Scammers attempt to target people in a variety of ways, including via the telephone, online, on the doorstep and through the mail.

The Fraud Protect team at Hollybeck Garden Centre on Friday.
The Fraud Protect team at Hollybeck Garden Centre on Friday.

To combat the issue, Nottinghamshire Police’s Fraud Protect and Prevent team are currently visiting garden centres every Friday to share advice and information.

They’ve been giving out a host of freebies, including a “Think Scams!” advice booklet in partnership with the Think Jessica charity, which makes people aware of the danger, and financial implications, of scams.

The team held an engagement day at Hollybeck Garden Centre in Southwell, on Friday (June 28) where they spoke to customers about staying safe from scams. They’ve also been to Bradmore Garden Centre, Bardills Garden Centre, Blue Diamond Garden Centre and Notcutts Garden, with further visits planned.

Detective Sergeant Tara Clapperton, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Fraud Protect and Prevent team, said: “We decided to team up with garden centres in order to reach a wide audience and are grateful to all the garden centres who have participated in this project.

“We hope this initiative will help spread important messages and keep the people of Nottinghamshire safe from fraudsters.

“We share our messaging in many different ways, including social media, but we are aware not everybody has a social media account, so we’ve been exploring a variety of ways of reaching people.

“As well as attending garden centres, we’ve also attended schools, Mini Police events and churches to engage with more members of the public.

Officers gave out a host of freebies, including a “Think Scams!” advice booklet.
Officers gave out a host of freebies, including a “Think Scams!” advice booklet.

“I hope anyone who sees us in the community will take five minutes to speak to us, so we can give you some important tips on how to avoid falling victim to scammers.

“Fraudsters are becoming increasingly clever and sophisticated in the way they work, so we need to get the messaging across now more than ever.”

Dale Richardson, also from the Protect and Prevent team, said: “We’ve managed to speak to a lot of people across the visits. The Notcutts event at Edwalton was particularly busy — we must have seen somewhere between 500 and 600 people that day.

“It was such a success that the centre have invited us back. All the garden centres have been a great help so we’ll certainly be looking to carry on with these visits.”

Lauren Devonshire, general manager at Hollybeck Garden Centre, added: “I know my parents often get scam calls and I often get text messages about things I apparently need to pay for.

“The scammers are getting so clever and are becoming increasingly convincing that it’s so easy to get duped. Therefore I think it’s a good thing Nottinghamshire Police are here talking to our customers about it.”

Digital versions of Nottinghamshire Police’s fraud toolkits can be viewed here: https://online.fliphtml5.com/lnvyg/fxjw/

It includes useful advice and information on how to protect yourself from scams.

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