DORSET County Council trading standards service is working through a list of 600 potential online scam victims.

Officers are warning the public about fraudsters preying on hard-up households as part of scams awareness month, as it was revealed thatfraud offences in England and Wales rose by 25 per cent in 2013, compared to the previous year, with 207,252 cases reported.

Nationally Citizens’ Advice has calculated up to four million people could be scammed each year as many scams go unreported.

Ivan Hancock, trading standards service manager for Dorset County Council, said: “We are working as part of an initiative, coordinated nationally by trading standards, to identify Dorset scam victims from information gathered during police seizures of scam mail correspondence with international fraudsters.

“Officers are currently working through an initial list of 600 potential Dorset scam victims and contacting victims. Our officers offer practical advice with information from the national scam prevention charity ‘Think Jessica’.”

You can get advice and report scams to the trading standards service through the citizens’ advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or online advice at