Charnwood residents are being warned about the dangers of scams in memory of a former borough councillor who was an unfortunate victim shortly before he died.
Cllr John Sutherington, a member of Charnwood Borough Council for 19 years, lost thousands of pounds after being targeted by thieves last year. He sadly died a few months later.
Now fellow councillors in Charnwood are using John’s story to warn others about how to avoid becoming a scam victim.
Leaflets are being sent to more than 70,000 homes in the borough giving advice.
Cllr Deborah Taylor is the lead member for communities, safety and wellbeing at Charnwood and represents Anstey, the same ward John served for so many years.
Cllr Taylor said: “John was a popular member of the council who was dedicated to representing residents in his ward.
“As a Council, we were very sorry to lose him and we wanted to do something positive in his memory. When he was scammed he told people about it because he didn’t want anyone to go through a similar ordeal. He was that kind of person and always thought of others.
“We thought it fitting to use his story to help others.”
Gemma Sutherington, John’s daughter, said: “Dad was conflicted about whether to go public when this devastating crime happened to him. Yet he did because he wanted to warn other people and raise awareness to try and prevent others from the financial and emotional turmoil it caused him.
“We would strongly support the campaign and urge people to be vigilant and follow the advice given. We know dad would be 100 per cent behind it too.”
The leaflet is going out to Charnwood homes this month, alongside the annual council tax bills. The leaflet tells John’s story about how he received an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to be from a phone company and then his bank. They convinced him to hand over his bank details and proceeded to transfer a significant amount of money out of it. Most of it was never recovered.
On the leaflet are some tips and advice about how to avoid scams, such as by never giving out banking or personal details to anyone you do not know or trust and by always logging on to a website directly rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
For more information about avoiding scams, please visit www.leics.police.uk/onlinesafety or www.actionfraud.police.uk. You can also report scams on the Action Fraud website or call them on 0300 123 2040.