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Citizens Advice Pembrokeshire launches campaign to expose scammers’ tricks

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shutterstock_277122587CITIZENS ADVICE PEMBROKESHIRE and Pembrokeshire Trading Standards Team are urging people in Pembrokeshire to spread the word about scams and expose the tactics of fraudsters to protect others.

Citizens Advice Pembrokeshire and Trading Standards are hosting an information session in Fishguard library next Wednesday (Jul 27) from 10am until 1pm, to help raise awareness of popular scams, how to deal with them and the importance of reporting them. They will be joined by Paul Davies, Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire.

Mr Davies said, “I’m pleased to support Citizens Advice Pembrokeshire and other organisations who are working hard to raise awareness of scams right across Wales. It’s important that everyone gets involved in this campaign and helps spread the message that scams can be tackled if we work together to spot the signs and share what we learn with others.”

He added, “People across Wales are losing their savings in the space of a telephone conversation, the click of a mouse or the stroke of a pen and it is simply unacceptable. That’s why I’m urging everyone in Pembrokeshire to look out for each other and help eradicate these scams from our communities.”

It comes as national research by Citizens Advice finds scammers are using a variety of tactics to get people to part with their cash, with people losing an average of £2,500 across all types of scam.

Scam methods include vishing whereby scammers cold-call people in a bid to get their bank details, and offers of fake services, such as telling people their computer has a virus which they can fix remotely.

Investment scams carried the highest price tag, with people investing in fake diamonds or bogus stocks and shares losing of on average £20,000 each.

Citizens Advice is warning people to be on guard and watch out for the different methods used by fraudsters, from doorstep selling of counterfeit goods to demands for upfront payments for services that never materialise.

Vicki Skeats, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Pembrokeshire said:

“Scams are not a minor blight, they heap misery on people and in some cases can lead to financial ruin.

“Fraudsters use sophisticated techniques to con people and because they vary their methods, it can be tricky to spot when something is a scam. If you come across something that seems suspicious, seek advice so you don’t put yourself at risk.

“It’s vital to report scams and spread the word so we can clampdown on con artists and stop others falling into the same traps.

Eight common scams reported to Citizens Advice are:

  1. Investment – victims are persuaded to invest money into fake ventures and are then unable to get their money back.
  2. Fake services – people are offered a service for a fee, only to find the service isn’t real or doesn’t exist at all. Examples include, offers to fix computers remotely and fake invoices for advertising.
  3. Vishing – con-artists cold-call people pretending to be a legitimate company, asking for credit or debit card details – for example on the pretence that they need to refund overpaid bills.
  4. Doorstep selling – victims are offered goods door-to-door or from the back of a van, which are likely to be counterfeit. Fraudsters selling mattresses, “fresh” fish and cleaning products were all reported to Citizens Advice.
  5. Upfront payment or fee – fraudsters ask for a payment in advance for a service or product that never materialises, such as asking for a fee to get a loan, or to pay for a training course to secure a job.
  6. Premium rate texts – victims inadvertently agree to receive premium rate texts about games or competitions, usually costing around £4 each.
  7. Counterfeit goods – people buy goods at marketplaces or online that turn out to be counterfeit or even stolen. Common products include cigarettes, shoes and clothing, and tickets for events.
  8. Goods not received – people place orders for goods which don’t arrive. Scams are often carried out through social media and online auction sites.
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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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