Empowering people to take a stand against scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams.
- Scams cost the UK economy £5-£10 Billion a year
- 53% of people over 65 have been targeted by scams
- Only 5% of scams are reported
- Our statistics indicate that the average scam victim has lost over £3000
Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way.
Complete the online training and raise awareness throughout your community. Together we can create a scam free nation!
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Utilities against scams
Utility companies are working together with a focus on raising awareness around scams as it is a growing issue affecting people globally.
Friend in Focus
By SCAMbassador, Geoff Pegg, Director of Operations of Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association.
In the Spring of 2017, I proposed to my committee colleagues that we were well placed to take on a role to help increase awareness of the diversity of fraud and scams. I said that we could hire halls and give talks on this subject, in which we could concentrate on stories of actual incidents so that our audiences could learn from these stories and be better placed to recognise fraud and scams for what they were.
I held the first of these meetings on 25th April 2017 and the hall was packed to capacity. The presentation covered doorstep crime, postal scams, telephone issues and cyber-crime. That pattern has continued and, to date, I have held 67 of these meetings.
Many of the meetings have been open to the public to attend free of charge. These have produced enquiries from other organisations for similar meetings for their members. Some of these have been quite small, based on coffee mornings in sheltered housing sites. Others have been quite large, with attendances reaching up to 100 people.
Early in 2018, I registered the sequence of meetings with Friends Against Scams and on 17th May 2018, they recognised our association by giving it ‘Organisation’ status within Friends Against Scams.
I was also recognised then by being made a ‘SCAMbassador’. Certificates for these roles were presented to us in the AGM of Bucks County Council on 17th May 2018.
In addition, on 25th June 2018, Steve Baker MP presented me with a ‘Hero’ award on behalf the Chartered Trading Standards Institute at an awards’ ceremony in Westminster.
By this time, I felt that our association had achieved so much in this field that I recommended that we should seek support for a nomination for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We were advised in April 2019 that we had succeeded. The certificate and trophy for this award were presented to our Chairman and to me at a ceremony in High Wycombe on 18th September 2019.
Right now, we are continuing with a similar sequence of talks on this subject and they will continue into the foreseeable future.