Angus Monday Matters: Word of mouth is a powerful tool so let’s get talking

Scott Learmonth in his restaurant where he has introduced a phone ban to encourage his customers to talk to each other.
Scott Learmonth in his restaurant where he has introduced a phone ban to encourage his customers to talk to each other.

It’s good to talk.

That sage piece of advice could not have been more relevant last week when it emerged almost half of us have been targeted by scammers in the last year.

Many of those who have fallen foul of the evil organisations, which often prey on the vulnerable, are too embarrassed to speak out.

Angus Citizens Advice Bureau has urged residents affected to make their voices heard and to break the stigma around being scammed.

One victim I know, who was left out of pocket after a telephone internet scam, felt completely violated when her computer was hacked and money taken from her bank account.

She lost her confidence, she lost her trust and she also felt she had lost face after being so cruelly drawn in by a simple telephone call.

The local CAB has joined with other branches across the UK in launching this year’s Scams Awareness campaign to tackle the stigma victims often feel about reporting scams.

It urges those who have been targeted to have the courage to report it and, perhaps more importantly, to talk about it.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool and the more we speak out the more people will become aware of the tricks used by scammers – either online, on the phone or on the doorstep.

As word spreads it will, hopefully, get to the root of the problem and make it more difficult for scammers to con thousands of pounds from their victims.

If the proof is in the pudding that it is good to talk then look no further than Montrose restaurateur Scott Learmonth who has come up with a novel and innovative way of getting his customers once more engaging in conversation.

After experiencing a deafening silence amongst diners more interested in checking social media on their mobile phones than chatting with friends or families, he now confiscates their gadgets and locks them up for the duration of the meal.

Proving “money talks”, he gives a 10% discount off to everyone who allows their mobile devices to be locked away in an attempt to bring conversation back to the table.

His experiment has already received positive feedback and has been welcomed by people of all ages.

Now this really is something we should all talk up.