Friends Against Scams is the National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams. It empowers communities to 'Take a Stand Against Scams'.
With more knowledge and awareness, people can make scams part of everyday conversation with their family, friends and neighbours. This will enable them to protect themselves and others from scams.
If you want to learn more about scams you can complete the ‘friends against Scams’ online learning. It is an excellent introduction to scams and increases your awareness of this type of crime. It takes just 20 minutes and is available to all Dudley residents.
Please note you will need to register and activation takes 24 hours. Please follow the instructions to register.
Friends against scams
Dudley Council became an official 'Friends against Scams' organisation in November 2018. We made a commitment to train staff as 'Friends Against Scams'.
If you would like your work place to become a Friends Against Scams Organisation, get in touch with the Scams Unit who can advise you on how to achieve this.
SCAMchampions are 'Friends against Scams' who do a little more. We have trained many SCAMchampions in partner organisations. We are always looking for more organisations to take advantage of this free training. It really isn't an onerous task and can benefit people in the workplace and their home-life.
As the average age of a scam victim is 74, the SCAMchampion training also incorporates a 'Dementia Friends' information Session. During this session you will increase your understanding of Dementia and think about the small things that you can do to make a difference to people affected by Dementia in your community. If you are already a 'Dementia Friend' there will be no need to complete the final hour of the training session.
If you would like to become a SCAMchampion on behalf of your organisation contact the Scams Unit on 01384 818871 for more details.
Five key points about scams
- 53% of people aged 65+ have been targeted by scams and criminals. (Action Fraud)
- Scams cost the UK roughly £5-10 billion each year. (Annual Fraud Indicator)
- Anyone can be a scam victim, regardless of age, gender, education or economic background
- Scam victims might not always admit (or be aware) that they are a victim of a scam. Only 5% of victims report the crime. (Age UK 2015)
- Scams are the product of organised, predatory criminals who gain trust to exploit and steal money.
- Are you, or someone you know, inundated with scam mail?
- Are you tempted to respond to it?
- Do you want to help track down the criminals behind scams and help put a stop to their activities?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, then why not become a Scam Marshal?
What is a Scam Marshal?
A Scam Marshal is any resident in the UK who receives scam mail, but wants to put it to good use. Scam Marshals collect scam mail and send it to the National Trading Standards Scams Team.
Why should I become a Scam Marshal?
Becoming a Scam Marshal can be very rewarding and fulfilling work. You can:
- Save money
- Take control of your situation
- Improve self-confidence
- Reduce clutter in the home
- Assist with investigations
- Reduce the temptation to respond
- Increase awareness of scams
- Educate and help others
- See a reduction in scam mail
Are there any membership rewards?
All Scam Marshals receive a certificate confirming their status. They receive a monthly newsletter in the post that includes enforcement updates, and sometimes special requests from investigators.
Each month one Scam Marshal will have a spotlight feature as a Scam Marshal of the Month and have the chance to share their story.
Scam Marshals also have access to the Scam Marshal pen pal scheme where they can befriend other Scam Marshals.
If you would like to become a Scam Marshal, please contact the Scams Unit.
Mail preference service
Although different to scam mail, if you are receiving unwanted mail you can sign up to the Mail Preference Service (MPS). Registration is free and only takes a few minutes.
We work in partnership with the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS).
- record details of your complaint
- provide relevant advice on your consumer rights
- forward the complaint details to the relevant Trading Standards department of police for further investigation
Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm only.
- You can call during office hours and ask to speak to a Scams Unit Officer on 01384 818871