What is Friends Against Scams?
Friends Against Scams was developed by National Trading Standards Scams Team to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to 'Take a Stand Against Scams.'
By attending a Friends Against Scams awareness sessons anyone can learn about the different types of scams in operation and how best to spot and support a victim.
By becoming a Friend Against Scams, it's hoped scams will become part of everyday conversation and enabling us to protect ourselves and others.
For more details about Friends Against Scams, visit their website: https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/
Friends Against Scams awareness sessions are run by SCAMchampions, who are trained and supported by the NTS Scams Team. Each 45 minute awareness session is fun and interactive and a chance to meet other people who want to learn more about scams.
Below is a list of our upcoming sessions, delivered by volunteers from Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS). To book a place on a session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
19th September - 6:30pm - Cleveland Police HQ, Ladgate Lane, Middlesbrough
14th November - 6:30pm - Cleveland Police HQ, Ladgate Lane, Middlesbrough
23rd January - 6:30pm - Cleveland Police HQ, Ladgate Lane, Middlesbrough
If you are elderly or housebound, but would like to become a Friend Against Scams, please contact email@example.com and it can be arranged for VCAS volunteers to visit you at home.
Top Four Scams to Look Out For
Scammers who operate by phone offer exaggerated – or even fake – prizes, products or services, such as loans, charitable causes or free trial offers. They don’t want to give you any time to consider their pitch and may be talking quickly. They just want to hear you say ‘yes’.
What to do:
- Law states telemarketers must tell you what they’re calling for – if they don’t give you this information, hang up.
- Do not make a decision immediately.
- Keep your banking details to yourself – even if they ask you to ‘confirm’ this information.
Door-to-door scams usually involve selling goods or services of poor quality – or that may never arrive at all. Some scammers conduct surveys to get your personal details or may offer you goods or services you don’t need (eg. unnecessary roofing work or patio replacement).
What to do:
- If someone knocks at the door, always ask for their identification. If you are not satisfied with their ID, do not let them into your home.
- Don’t immediately agree to an offer. Take time to find out about the business or charity before taking further action.
- If you don’t want any unwanted callers, you can contact us for a ‘No Cold Callers’ sticker.
Watch out for ‘phishing’ – emails from scammers purporting to be from a legitimate company requiring personal details. Websites, advertisements and emails are made to look very sophisticated. The most common online scams are for concert tickets, holiday and residential apartments, dating and vehicle sales.
What to do:
- Delete any emails from unknown senders, especially those with an attachment, as it may be a virus.
- Avoid sellers on online market places who ask you to pay via unusual methods.
- Never give financial or personal details to anyone unless you know and trust who you are giving them to.
Many mass mailing scams will trick you into parting with money or providing personal details in the belief you will win a cash prize. It can only take a single response to scammer for a person to be added to their ‘Sucker’s List’ and inundated with further scam mail.
What to do:
- Genuine lotteries will not ask you to pay a fee to collect your winnings.
- Never send money abroad or to someone you don’t know or trust.
- Examine all terms and conditions very carefully.
If you have been the victim of a scam, the below helplines may be able to help:
Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040
The Silver Line - a helpline for older people: 0800 470 8090