Friends Against Scams run awareness sessions around the country to educate people on how to avoid scammers and what they should do if they or someone they know is caught up in a scam.
There was such a session in Warrington recently and it seems to have had a big effect.
All those attended signed-up to be a “Friend Against Scams” or a “Scam Champion” and have pledged to raise awareness and spread the word across communities about the dangers of scams, particularly to Warrington’s most vulnerable residents.
As part of the event, they showed how criminals attempt to trick people with official looking documents or websites, or convincing telephone sales patter, with the aim of persuading them to send a “processing” or “administration” fee, pay postal or insurance costs or make a premium rate phone call.
A relative of a 78-year-old man from Cinnamon Brow who was a recent Warrington mail scam victim said: “I tried intercepting as many letters as I could find in his house and return them with ‘gone away’ but that had no effect on the volume of mail sent. He was still receiving at least one hundred scam mailings a week. “I estimate he has spent at least £30,000 in four years on scam mail products and scam lotteries.
Dr Muna Abdel Aziz, director of public health for Warrington, said: “Scams come in many forms, and scammers will target people of all ages, backgrounds and income levels. We receive complaints from residents who have lost thousands, and in some cases, tens of thousands of pounds
“These sessions aimed to empower residents to recognise and avoid scams and to help friends, family and neighbours do the same. Financial loss is not the only cost to victims, as feelings of vulnerability can also have a devastating impact.”
For more information about the campaign and how to get involved visit, go to http://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to take a Stand Against Scams.’
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