Scams often target people in vulnerable situations. The Friends Against Scams campaign aims to protect and prevent these people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.
Each year scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of detriment to UK consumers. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.
The Friends Against Scams campaign, launched by the National Trading Standards Scams Team, is open to anyone who wants to protect themselves, their neighbours or their loved ones against scams. Free training and awareness sessions – available online and in person at local awareness sessions – are being rolled out, which will provide people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams. Those who participate in the training will become a Friend Against Scams and will be encouraged to put their knowledge to use in their local communities.
The Friends Against Scams campaign aims to:
- Highlight the scale of the issue by encouraging communities and the nation to talk about scams
- Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims
- Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing better support
- Recruit individuals and communities to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation
In addition to empowering members of the public the campaign will also partner with a range of organisations who will help promote awareness of scams and take steps to help tackle scams. Founding partners of the campaign include NatWest, Bournemouth University and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
Anyone who is worried they may be being scammed or who is concerned about someone who they fear may be a victim should report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06