Dorset Council's taking a stand against scams

Dorset Council's taking a stand against scams

Published by Maria Greenwood at 9:25am 17th September 2019.

Dorset's Trading Standards team has become a Friends Against Scams Organisation.

The national initiative aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by raising awareness, changing perceptions of why people fall for scams and make scams a community, regional and national topic.

Scams cost the UK around £10 billion each year.

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'Silence is a scammer's best friend'

Over half of people aged 65 and over have been targeted by criminal scams - but only 5% of these report scams, according to Age UK.

The charity says not reporting scams allows perpetrators of these crimes to continue unchallenged and victims to remain unsupported.

'There's a scam for everyone and anyone can be affected'

  • Young people can be scammed when buying a first mobile phone or paying online letting agents for student accommodation
  • Older people my fall for fake lotteries, prize draws and catalogue scams. 
  • Others may lose money when contacted out of the blue by someone purporting to be from their bank 
  • Loneliness can lead to grooming by international criminals offering potential relationships, romance or contact with the dead
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People who are more vulnerable to scams can receive multiple contacts a day by fraudsters.

Friends Against Scams aims to break the silence around scams, giving people information to be able to spot the signs of a scam, talk with and support others and report scams. 

'Could your organisation become a Friend Against Scams?'

Anyone can become a 'Friend'. Find a  Visit the national website local face-to-face session, or to complete 20 minutes of online learning 

Jon Harris, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Dorset Council said:

"Being recognized as a Friend Against Scams Organisation will help us to spread the message about the benefits of becoming a 'Friend' to grow the scheme within local communities across Dorset.

"This is about continuing to raise awareness of scams to help people protect themselves against financial abuse by rogues.

"Anyone can take a stand individually against scams and become a 'Friend' and other organisations can show their commitment by becoming a Friends Against Scams Organisation too."