Businesses, organisations and residents across Dudley borough are urged to sign up as ‘friends against scams’ to help tackle the illegal activity of heartless scammers.
It’s estimated £3.1 million is lost to financial criminals in Dudley borough alone, every year, with often the most vulnerable and lonely residents being the prime target.
To put a stop to this, Dudley Council’s trading standards department launched a scams unit more than 12 months ago.
The team is working hard to bust financial criminals, but is asking for the support of local businesses, voluntary organisations and residents in its continued efforts to stop criminals in their tracks and protect innocent victims.
It has now made a National Trading Standards (NTS) online course available on the Dudley Council’s training portal, which focuses on the national friends against scams initiative.
The course helps to raise awareness of the types of scams, the warning signs of someone falling victim and what to do if someone has potentially been targeted. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and is free.
Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:
As a SCAMbassador for the authority I’m passionate we do all we can to put an end to this criminal activity taking place right on our doorstep.
There’s big money in this for scammers and they are well-rehearsed at manipulating the most vulnerable in our communities, often stripping people of their life savings.
This is not acceptable and it’s why the work of our scams unit is so valuable.
To support their efforts, all we ask is for people to take 20 minutes out of their day to complete the course as the better informed they are, the more likely they are to stop someone, whether it’s a family member, friend or client, falling victim to a scam.”
If anyone is concerned that they or someone they know may have fallen victim to financial scams, they should contact the Trading Standards’ scams unit on 01384 818871 or via firstname.lastname@example.org