Empowering people to take a stand against scams
Click here to find out more about December's Scamnesty campaign and how you can get involved in taking a stand against postal 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.
Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Completing the Friends Against Scams awareness session and help to raise awareness throughout your community.
Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way.
How Can You Help?
Business Against Scams
Businesses Against Scams has been set up by the (NTS) Scams Team and includes a number of resources that companies can share with their employees.
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 Angela Page, Portfolio of Public Protection & Enforcement, London Borough of Bromley
During the seven years I have been a councillor on the London Borough of Bromley, I have seen more and more people receiving emails and calls from scammers, trying to extract money or personal information in one way or another.
Whilst I am generally aware of what looks like a ‘scam’, I still at times have to double check and always err on the side of caution if not 100% certain. I have seen very elderly members of my family approached and one did give his bank details which were accessed and the scammers started to remove his savings.
Over the last year, our trading standards team at Bromley would have usually been conducting their regular community meetings across the borough, warning about scams and doorstep crime. However, due to the Covid restrictions, the team engaged virtually via Zoom with some groups and launched a ‘Trading Standards Alert’ via email. This alert is sent to recipients to distribute across their networks including residents groups, Bromley Neighbourhood Watch, Bromley Mind, Met Police SNT’s, NHS partners, along with any residents that sign up individually.
The trading standards team plans to restart their outreach work soon and will be contacting organisers to re-book Friends Against Scams awareness talks.
The team provide support and guidance on how to reduce contact with scammers to residents targeted by scams . They also provide support to those who have been a victim of a scam, and their families, to prevent them becoming a repeat victim and support them on any opportunities of reimbursement from their banks or credit card providers.
They are also continuing with the trueCall call blocker programme by loaning trueCall devices to those who have been scammed or are being targeted by scammers. This is a truly valuable scheme to protect those most in need, particularly the most vulnerable within our community.
Having recently become a Friends Against Scams Organisation, we are aiming to further raise the profile of scams throughout the council, to strengthen our links within Adult Social Services, and make new partnerships with other departments.
A future goal for trading standards is to continue to share intelligence and to increase enforcement action against those perpetrating the scams, in partnership with police and other agencies, whether that’s intercepting a ‘courier’ at a person's home, disrupting a boiler room, or investigating a ‘rogue trader’.
As we know, most scams are a ‘variation on a theme’, so for now it's important to keep up with the advice and education to our residents, and that is what I intend to do as Bromley’s SCAMbassador.
In May of this year, when I was asked to take on the Portfolio of Public Protection & Enforcement, I was delighted to take the opportunity to become a SCAMbassador. In my new role, I am very much looking forward to working with officers in continuing to make residents aware of current and new scams and keeping them, and their money, as safe as possible.