Compensation for scam victims who used Western Union

For years, fraudsters have used Western Union as a way to receive money from scam victims. Following an investigation in America, Western Union agreed to refund victims who sent money to fraudsters between 1 January 2004 and 19 January 2017.  If you lost money to a scam during this time you may be entitled to receive a percentage of the amount you lost.

Types of scams covered by these refunds includes:

  • Lottery or prize draw
  • Discounted products or other financial rewards
  • Emergency scams – to help relatives and/or avoid imprisonment or arrest
  • Advance-fee loans
  • Online dating or romance scams
  • Employment opportunities

How to make a claim

  • To apply you must file a petition of remission to Western Union
  • Filing a petition is FREE
  • Apply online by filling in the Western Union remission form
  • Visit Western Union website to find out more

To be considered you must file a petition on or before 12 February 2018 


Contact details

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service

Kent County Council  22 January 2018

Doorstep criminals target residents following Storm Eleanor

Think before you BuyKent county Council Public Protection are warning Kent residents to beware of doorstep criminals. Following storm Eleanor criminals are attempting to convince people into unnecessary or overpriced work.Doorstep criminals may claim your roof tiles are loose,your chimney stack is dangerous or trees need to be felled due to damage.Accepting work from a doorstep criminal can result in paying much more than you intended for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work.

If you require work done to your home get at least three quotes and never give a doorstep caller cash.
For a list of Kent County Council approved traders

Help keep your community safe 

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep callers to us.  

Report it

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact Citizens Advice consumer service

Kent County Council Public Protection 04 January 2018


Healthier You for New Year

Is your New Year’s Resolution about a healthier lifestyle?

Are you planning to lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking?

Before signing up for that expensive diet plan or gym membership call at the One You shop in Park Mall for free advice and support.

ONE YOU delivers a variety of free health services, support and advice including:

  • Support for quitting smoking
  • Healthy weight management for adults and children
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Support and advice on a range of lifestyle issues

With the right support and motivation you can make small changes to improve your health right away and double your chances of staying healthy as you get older.

Offering a friendly and unintimidating environment, people visit ONE YOU to ask questions and take advantage of the free health services on offer. You can drop in unannounced or arrange a scheduled appointment.

You can also get advice online at

Cancelling a subscription or gym membership

If you do decide to try a diet plan or gym membership check the terms and conditions before signing and know your rights on cancelling payments:

Stopping a future payment on your debit or credit card

Cancelling a gym membership

Can you return unwanted gifts?

Legally you have the right to return goods that are faulty or mis-described but you don’t have the right to return unwanted goods.  Ask about the returns policy 
When buying gifts this Christmas ask the seller about their returns policy before you pay. Some sellers may have specific conditions before they will accept goods back like returning goods within a set time period, in their original container or with the tags and labels attached.

Not all sellers will offer a refund some may only offer an exchange or store credit.

Make sure you’re happy with the sellers return policy before you buy.

Your rights explained

Kent County Council 15 December 2017

Health watchdog consults on future aims

Shaping our Future


Opens: 08 November 2017
Closes: 03 January 2018

Healthwatch the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services, launched in 2012. Since then, in partnership with local Healthwatch, they have worked hard to understand what people want from care services and make sure that those who run services hear these views.

They are now developing their strategy for 2018 – 2023.

Between June and September 2017, they asked the public, professionals and local Healthwatch a number of questions to help shape their future focus. They invite you to take part in the next phase of their strategy.

They asked people where they should focus their efforts to have the biggest impact.

The ideas people shared largely focussed on the following areas:

  • Working to improve existing care, particularly the access people have to support, and the avoidable differences in people’s experience of health and social care across the population.
  • Mental health and care for older people were also common issues where people wanted to see improvements.
  • Making it easier for more people to have an equal say in decisions that affect them by tackling barriers, such as public awareness and professional attitudes.
  • Ensuring that communities are involved in shaping future health and social care services.
  • Supporting a stronger, more consistent Healthwatch network – from the service the public receives, to the way the network works together to achieve change.
  • Maintaining the independence of the network and working in partnership with others to improve health and social care services.

What this means for their work

People’s feedback has helped inform the development of three aims for their future.

  1. Empowering you and your community to have your say

    We want to make sure people can access the information they need to take control of their health and care, make informed decisions and shape the services that support them.

  2. Providing a high quality Healthwatch service for you

    We want to support a consistently high quality Healthwatch service for people who want to share their views or find information about health and social care. We also want to help local Healthwatch to champion people’s views effectively and make sure that local health and social care services truly reflect people’s needs.

  3. Making sure your views help improve health and social care

    We want people’s views to drive health and social care – ensuring you get access, on an equal basis with others, to support that works for you, as well as helping to shape future services for your community.

Download “Shaping our Future”

They would like to hear your views on these aims.

Have your say via the Healthwatch website

Are you scam savvy this year?

Stop the ScammersCriminals will be taking advantage this Christmas to send a record number of scams to catch us out.

Last Christmas over £16 million was lost to online scams in the UK. 

Types of scams to avoid this Christmas

  • E-Vouchers – criminals share free e-vouchers on social media or by email for well-known brands. Victims are told to click on a link to claim which takes them to a fake website where they are asked for personal and banking details.
  • Wish lists – can be useful to tell your friends and family about what gifts you would like this year however these lists can contain personal information which criminals use steal their identity and they can use the items to send phishing emails.
  • Social Media deals – messages on social media offering deals has increased in the last few years and while some of them may be genuine , criminals will be taking advantage often trying to tempt people with deals on electronics and jewellery.

READ about scams and how to deal with them

Kent County Council 15 December 2017

Shopping online safety tips

UK online retail sales hit £133bn in 2016 and it is estimated to continue rising as we enjoy shopping in the comfort of our own homes.

The huge increase in parcels has lead to a number of businesses promising cheap and quick delivery services to meet demand.  This has resulted in a rise in complaints as courier companies compete on price but fail to deliver on time.

If you are shopping online this Christmas find out when the business can deliver the goods, especially if you want them to arrive before Christmas day.

If they don’t arrive in time contact the business as soon as you can. Use their complaints process to make a formal complaint.


Online retailers pass the parcel as couriers fail to deliver the goods

If something you ordered hasn’t arrived

Kent County Council 15 December 2017

Don’t buy fakes

The pressure is on for parents to buy the must have toys on their children’s Christmas list. But in your rush to buy you could unsuspectingly buy fake toys.

Fake toys are made with cheap, nasty materials containing dangerous chemicals and flammable materials. They break easily and can be dangerous for children to use, especially those containing electrical components and batteries.

Take your time & follow these top tips when buying toys:
  • Only buy from shops you trust – be wary of websites you’ve never shopped with before especially if it sounds too good to be true
  • Check the website is genuine
  • Look for the BSI Kite and Lion quality marks
  • Check the packaging for spelling mistakes – do the instructions make sense?

This year’s most popular Christmas toys and gadgets

From top left to right: Soundmoovz Musical Bandz, Star Wars toys including the new BB-9E, HoverKart, Laser X and the Polaroid 3-D Pen.Hoverboards are still popular and the new HoverKart will certainly be at the top of some Christmas lists. Follow these top tips if you are considering buying a Hoverboard this year

Report fake products to Trading Standards

Kent County Council 15 December 2017

Are you ready for Christmas?

Many of us will be dusting down the decorations or buying new, ready to decorate our homes for Christmas.If you are using old decorations make sure you check electrical products for damage and loose wires before you plug them in.

Be careful not to overload sockets especially if you’re using extension leads – use this socket calculator to find out if you’re exceeding the maximum load.If you’re buying new decorations this year then make sure you buy from reputable retailers. Fake electrical goods are not safe; causing electric shocks and fires.

One in six people in the UK has bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas present

Before you buy:


 Experts urge Kodi box users to unplug their devices immediately

WATCH how easily this fake electrical product explodes after just 4 seconds

Kent County Council 15 December 2017