Friends, neighbours, loved ones – any or all could be targeted by scammers, rogue traders and doorstep fraudsters, and that is why Croydon Council’s trading standards team is recommending a course designed to help combat the menace.
The initiative has been launched to raise awareness of the sort of scams commonly used, and to encourage people to take a stand against them.
Scammers most often target people in vulnerable situations – the Friends Against Scams initiative aims to protect and prevent these people from becoming victims of this type of fraud by empowering communities to take a stand against scams.
Launched by the National Trading Standards Scams Team, the free initiative is open to anyone who wants to protect themselves, their neighbours or their loved ones against scams.
The Friends Against Scams (FAS) awareness sessions are for anybody to attend – from the general public, to professionals working with people in vulnerable circumstances.
In addition, SCAMchampion sessions – also free of charge – are being rolled out to provide people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams, and who would like to be able to deliver the FAS sessions to people in their community.
Online access to the necessary resources is provided for people to download and use for training. For example, a care agency might wish to train all the members of its team, but only one member would need to join the FAS and SCAMchampion sessions in order to do that.
Both courses will be held on Tuesday 7 February at the City of London Corporation. To become a SCAMchampion, delegates will have had to attend the FAS session held in the morning. Attendance of both will take half a day.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“Cold callers who heartlessly defraud life savings from their often vulnerable victims are an ongoing scourge of modern society, and, sadly, Croydon is not immune.
“These courses, organised by the National Trading Standards Scam Team, are held in London but are worth the time and effort to attend for any who can get along there.
“While the Friends Against Scams session alerts people to the dangers, the SCAMchampion course equips attendees with the tools to come back to Croydon and tell others of the dangers and how to avoid them.”
More information and booking details can be found at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk