Tuesday, 30 January 2018, Anne Godfrey, Chief Executive
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards initiative that takes aim at scams in the UK
CIEH is proud to lend its support to Friends Against Scams, a new initiative from The National Trading Standards Scams Team (NTS). The scheme aims to raise awareness of the impact of scams and help people recognise the signs that someone might be at risk. These messages enable people to take action and look out for each other in their local communities.
This an incredibly important issue to us. It is estimated that consumers lose around £5-10 billion every year due to scams. Anyone can be affected by a simple postal, telephone or doorstep scam, but these are often targeted specifically at disadvantaged consumers or those in periods of vulnerability. That's why everybody at CIEH is taking a pledge and becoming a Friend.
Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way. Become a Friend Against Scams by attending a short awareness session in person or completing the training online. You can also share the scheme with organisations and local authorities you may be a part of, as I am doing in my pledge as a Friend.
"You can prevent a person from becoming a victim."
We'll be holding scam awareness and prevention training for all of our staff as well as reaching out to members to inspire action and highlight the scale of the problem across the UK. Spreading the message is crucial; partnership-working and community engagement can really help protect and prevent people from becoming a victim of scams through education and more effective reporting. We'll also be inviting the Scams Team NTS to speak at our CIEH Events, which you can find out more about here.
As EHPs, the Friends Against Scams campaign is particularly relevant to you. Since you will often be visiting people at home, you will be in a position to spot the signs that someone is being targeted by a criminal or is susceptible to fraud and scams in their home. Scam victims identified by Trading Standards are often lonely and socially isolated. This lifestyle has been linked to a deterioration in health as well as cognitive decline, which can contribute to a person becoming a victim of a scam. Lonely individuals will also engage with a scammer more readily than other people because of their need for human interaction.
Conversely, scams can also lead to environmental health hazards such as fire risks and distraction fires. The likelihood of a scam victim being distracted when cooking is elevated due to the number of scam calls they get each day. Similarly, victims may also receive vast amounts of fraudulent mail, which in some cases is hoarded and creates a fire risk. By completing the Friends Against Scams training you could prevent a person from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing adequate support.
We hope you will support Friends Against Scams by attending an awareness session, taking a pledge and sharing your knowledge with others, just as we are. Together we can turn the UK into a scam-free nation.
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