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. ​

With the digital age, it is becoming easier for criminals to pose as legitimate companies and scam people out of large sums of money. This not only impacts on customers both financially and emotionally, but also creates reputational risk for businesses and the wider industry. ​

Therefore, they can play a crucial part in spotting signs that a customer could need support and alerting those organisations who can help.

We recently hosted a webinar to showcase Utilities Against Scams and the recent pilot project with Cadent Gas and Anglian Water. You can watch the webinar here:

Why is it important we focus on this work?

Only 5% of scams are reported. More than 50% of people aged 65 plus have been targeted by criminals.

There are now 11.8 million people aged 65 or over in the UK. The number of people aged 65+ is projected to rise by over 40 per cent (40.77%) in the next 17 years to over 16 million. By 2033 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to more than double again to reach 3.2 million, and to account for 5 per cent of the total population.

  • Utility companies have interaction with customers on a daily basis, whether this is face to face when carrying out work in a community or in a customer’s home, having a telephone conversation or communicating digitally.
  • Customer facing staff are in a privileged position, sometimes being the only person that customer will speak with that day

What can you do to get involved?

Register as a Utilities Against Scams organisation by sending the team an email to friendsagainstscams@surreycc.gov.uk. It's completely free and gives you access to a range of resources that can help you to embed the scams awareness messages within your organisation.

The National Trading Standards Scams Team can chat with you about how best to use the resources available to support your customers and help employees to spot, stop and prevent a scam.

Resources include:
  • Training package
  • Social media pack
  • Physical resources
  • Informational leaflet

Have a watch of an overview of Utilities Against Scams here:

Benefits to becoming a Utilities Against Scams organisation

  • UAS is designed to help employees and interested consumer groups of utility companies, wishing to improve their scam awareness and prevention within their organisation by making simple changes. These might include increasing employees’ awareness of scams and improving customer experience.
  • We can also have a positive effect on our customers through scam education and empowerment.
  • Collaborate with other utilities and learn from each other and provide examples of good practice.
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