This year we held two workshops at the conference. There was an opportunity for delegates to attend both workshops as these were repeated in the afternoon session.
Workshop 1 - Friends against Scams
This workshop was run by the National Trading Standards Scams Team. The NTS Scams Team works across England & Wales and engages with partner agencies to identify and support victims of scams. The aims of the NTS Scams Team are:
- To identify victims of scams
- To intervene and protect victims from further victimisation
- To investigate criminal activity
- To inform local authorities and agencies on how to work with and support scam victims
- To influence people at local, regional and national levels to take a stand against scams
During this workshop, they promoted their new ‘Friends Against Scams’ initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘take a stand against scams’. This national initiative complements our local Consumer Champion scheme by aiming to:
- Highlight the scale of the problem by getting communities and the nation talking about scams
- Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims
- Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing more adequate support
- Recruit people to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation
This workshop was delivered by Frances Wilson
Frances is a Project Officer at the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team. The NTS Scams Team is funded by National Trading Standards and is hosted by East Sussex Trading Standards. The team was founded in 2012 to tackle the problem of postal, telephone and doorstep scams and related crimes. The team works across England and Wales with trading standards and partner agencies to investigate scams and identify and support those who fall victim to them. Postal, telephone and doorstep scams are often targeted specifically at disadvantaged consumers or those in periods of vulnerability. The NTS Scams Team estimates that the detriment to UK consumers as a result of these scams is between £5 and £10 Billion a year.
Workshop 2 - ‘Whose job is it anyway?’
Scams and frauds can target consumers in many ways. Online, telephone, postal and doorstep give fraudsters the opportunity to extract money from members of our communities. This often enables the criminals to find and target some of the most vulnerable people.
But how can we prevent this?
During the workshop, we used scenarios where consumers could be at risk of losing money to scams or rogue trader activity, with the aim of identifying where and by whom the loss could have been prevented.
The key outcomes of the workshop were to develop knowledge of how, by working closer together, we can look to expand the collective aspects of safeguarding of people from these financial loss situations. By involving the ‘wider’ community, it can mean we are not just relying on law enforcement and financial bodies to identify and stop people becoming victims.
This workshop was led by Stephen Maunder from Norfolk Trading Standards
Stephen is the Community Protection Officer for Norfolk County Council Trading Standards and for over 9 years he has been involved in consumer education, consumer engagement and promoting delivery of advice and support. His current role involves managing and delivering Trading Standards interventions and initiatives to protect vulnerable people and communities such as No Cold Calling Zones, Community and Consumer Champions. He also engages with the community through social media, delivering training and presentations on Scams & Rogue Trader awareness to partners from across the statutory, voluntary and third sector groups.
He was assisted by Steve Musty, Senior Fraud Manager from Nationwide Building Society. Steve has been with Nationwide Building Society for over 26 years and worked in various roles all within the Financial Crime Department. His present role includes looking after the fraud awareness education strategy for the group which includes presenting mainly out to the Retail network and with his team educating Nationwide members on how best to protect themselves against fraud.
Jackie Merralls from Barclays Bank also joined them to deliver the workshop.
Jackie has been a loyal employee of Barclays for over 30 years. Whilst currently in the role of Personal Banker at the Hunstanton branch, her career has involved working in London as well as the South East and East Anglia. Her numerous roles over the years have included training and coaching as well as that of Branch Manager and working within a Project Team. Jackie has chosen in her career to deal very much with people...be that the customer, or Barclays staff. In recent times, she has been instrumental in organising three local Fraud and Scam Awareness Events in her community. These have been actively supported by the local Police and by Trading Standards.
We received fabulous feedback on the workshops from the delegates and we are extremely grateful for their valued contributions.