Residents and local organisations are being asked to ‘take a stand against scams’ and attend free awareness sessions hosted by Wirral Council’s Trading Standards Team.
The ‘Friends against Scams’ sessions are part of a national campaign from the National Trading Standards Scams team designed to equip residents with the practical tools to spot a scam and report it.
Through these sessions, ‘friends’ are recruited and asked to commit to passing on their newly found knowledge to friends and family and potentially identify more victims of scams.
Attendees who wish to play a bigger role can attend an extra training session and become a ‘Scam Champion’, enabling you to recruit new Friends against Scams.
Scams are the product of organised criminals who try and gain people’s trust to exploit and steal money.
Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This campaign is about protecting our communities, particularly people in vulnerable situations who are deliberately targeted by criminals and we hope the people of Wirral will get on board with us.
“If anyone ever contacts you, be it by phone, email or knocking on your door and you are in any doubt, say NO and end the exchange as quickly as you can.”
Scamming is on the rise with 53% of people aged over 65 being targeted and scams costing the UK between £5-10 billion each year.
However, anyone can fall victim to a scam, regardless of age, gender, education or economic background and might not always admit or be aware they are the victim of a scam. Consequently, only 5% of victims report the crime.
If you would like to attend a Friends against Scams session or would like to arrange one for your organisation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a scam please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506.
More information about scams, including free training, is available on the Friends against Scams website at friendsagainstscams.org.uk