Did you know it’s Scams Awareness Month? If you’re not aware of that, then it probably means they need a Scams Awareness Month Awareness Month to raise awareness of it.
Anyway, I have wasted a hell of a lot of my life campaigning against scams, and I think this is an appropriate opportunity to make you all aware that it’s contemptibly futile. According to the Scams Awareness Month literature, only 5% of scams are reported. I don’t know where they got that figure from. In any case, the fact is that ActionFraud and Trading Standards are already hopelessly swamped just by that 5%. The proportion of victims they can actually help is as close to zero as makes no difference. What’s more, Trading Standards’ first duty isn’t even to the victims – Trading Standards’ first duty is to advise the scammers, in other words their primary statutory role to help con artists get away with it. That’s not what they call it, obviously – officially it’s “advising traders of their legal obligations” or some such innocent-sounding boilerplate, but what it means is pointing out the loopholes that enable them to target and defraud victims and have the law turn a blind eye. Be aware of this: in the rare cases that Trading Standards actually push for, and maybe secure a prosecution, that is not a victory for Trading Standards. That is a fallback when they have failed in their primary function. Some Trading Standards Officers refuse to tell you this, some are in denial about it. Some (Cornwall TS springs to mind) are actually open and proud of their work in ensuring con artists flourish, and why wouldn’t they be? It’s what they get paid for, after all.
Over the last six years, I have reported scams, false advertising, high pressure selling, targeting of vulnerable groups, all sorts of things, to various Trading Standards departments and other authorities across the UK and Ireland. Here’s how much the victims have got back, in total:
And here’s how many of the scammers, rogue traders, con artists and miscellaneous charlatans have profited from what they’ve done:
All of them.
One hundred percent. There is one pending case, but realistically there’s no hope of that ending in a situation for the scammers that I wouldn’t gladly exchange for my own.
So, here’s my awareness-raising message for Scams Awareness Month: scams are a brilliant way of making money, their victims don’t matter, if you object to them, you’re scum, and if you don’t do them, you’re a moron. I have wasted my life caring about people and not being a conman. I should have spent the last six years conning people. I should be doing that right now, and I’m not, which makes me a worthless piece of shit. Well, either that or Cornwall Trading Standards, and in fact all other Trading Standards departments, are in the wrong, but they actually get paid from the public purse to enable scams, so I think it’s safe to assume that it’s me.