Friends Against Scams is a campaign which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to 'Take a Stand Against Scams.'
Scams affect the lives of millions of people across the UK. People who are scammed often experience loneliness, shame and social isolation.
The aim of Friends Against Scams (a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative) is to:
- inspire action
- highlight the scale of the problem
- change the perceptions of why people fall victim to scams
- make scams a local, regional and national topic
By completing the online learning (which takes approximately 20 minutes), anyone can learn about the different types of scams and how to spot and support a victim. With increased knowledge and awareness, people can make scams part of everyday conversation with their family, friends and neighbours, which will enable them to protect themselves and others from scams.
Anyone can be a Friend Against Scams and make a difference in their own way.
As a Friend Against Scams you will be asked to turn the knowledge you have gained about scams into action in order to "Take a Stand Against Scams".
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Tell five people about the Friends Against Scams initiative.
- Educate and talk to people about scams.
- Share your Friends Against Scams status on social media.
- Look out for people who are at risk of being a scam victim in your community.
- Campaign for change - write to your local MP asking them promote scams awareness.
- Actively support your local fight against scams by setting up or taking part in scam awareness activity or event in your local area.
- Make a difference to someone's life by getting in touch and staying in touch, with someone who has been a victim of a scam.
- Display a poster in the window of your home to show your neighbours that you're part of Friends Against Scams and to promote the initiative.
- Challenge attitudes about scam victims and help to stamp out the stigma of this commonly misunderstood problem by talking about scams and influencing people to consider scams from a different point of view.
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 Mail Marshal for NTS Scams Team
What is a Mail Marshal?
A Mail Marshal is any resident in the UK who receives scam mail, but wants to put it to good use. Mail Marshals are responsible for collecting scam mail and sending it to the NTS Scams Team.
Why should I become a Mail Marshal?
Becoming a Mail Marshal can be very rewarding and fulfilling work. In many cases it has helped Mail Marshals to:
- Save money
- Take control of their 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?
Yes! All Mail Marshals will receive a certificate confirming their status. They will also receive a monthly newsletter in the post that will include enforcement updates, and sometimes special requests from our investigators.
Each month one Mail Marshal will have a spotlight feature as a Mail Marshal of the Month and have the chance to share their story.
Mail Marshals also have access to the Mail Marshal pen pal scheme where they can befriend other Mail Marshals when they send their post into NTS Scams Team.
If you would like to become a Mail Marshal please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Report a Scam
Scams are created to trick you into handing over money or personal details.
As well as leaving people out of pocket – we estimate that £5-10 billion is lost to scams each year in the UK – victims are often left feeling a sense of shame and social isolation - but don't feel embarrassed - it can happen to anyone.
Report a scam
You can report scams to:
The Citizens Advice consumer helpline through their online reporting form or call 03454 04 05 06
Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office through their online fraud reporting tool or call 0300 123 2040
Scams Awareness and advice
The Citizens Advice website has information about common consumer scams to look out for.
Business Companion has advice on how to spot and avoid scams targeting businesses.
Suffolk Trading Standards Email Alerts
Join the fight and become a Consumer Champion!
Every week Suffolk Trading Standards send an email alert containing information on the latest scams and rogues targeting Suffolk, as well as updates on investigations and prosecutions that the service is pursuing.