Listeners Tune in to Become Scam Aware

July is ‘Scams Awareness Month’ and Home Instead Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk are supporting Citizens Advice and Trading Standards in activities throughout the month of July for ‘Scams Awareness Month.’ The campaign is all about supporting partnerships nationally and locally to give consumers the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.

Home Instead, who have previously collaborated with national scam awareness charity, Think Jessica, regularly roll out workshops in the local area. The aim of the workshops is to share information with attendees on the scale of the problem and the most common scams targeting the elderly as well as what to do if they have fallen victim to scammers.

Home Instead has also put together a free ‘Senior Fraud Protection Kit’ which contains information on the most common scams, tools to help assess the risk of an elderly loved one, plus really useful checklists to help seniors take practical action to lower the risk of becoming a victim of a scam.

As well as educating through their community workshops, to keep their clients safe, Home Instead caregivers are expected to undertake the National Trading Standards Scams Awareness Training with the Caregiving team expected to achieve at least a pass rate of 90% or above. 

Each year mass marketing mail scams, which often target vulnerable or disadvantaged consumers, cause approximately £3.5 billion worth of detriment to UK consumers.

The National Trading Standards Scams Team helps tackle mass marketing scams and disrupts the operations of perpetrators behind mail scams. It works in partnership with agencies across the country to identify and support victims of mass marketing fraud. The team provides guidance, best practice and establishes a centre of excellence to assist local authorities in supporting local victims and taking local enforcement action.

Each year scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of detriment to UK consumers. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.

In 2016 the National Trading Standards Scams Team launched the ‘Friends Against Scams’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of criminal scams, prevent people from becoming victims and to encourage people and communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.

The National Trading Standards Scams Team introduced free training and local awareness sessions, available online and in person, which provided people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams. The campaign aims to:

  • Highlight the scale of the issue by encouraging communities and the nation to talk about scams
  • Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims
  • Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing better support
  • Recruit individuals and communities to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation.

 Home Instead invited Divisional Trading Standards Officer, Andy Fox to a staff team meeting in their Harrogate office to host an awareness session and to help create more ‘Friends Against Scams’

Beth Parson from Stray FM radio also joined the session to learn about ‘Scams Awareness Month’ and how Home Instead are helping to prevent scams amongst their elderly clients and to raise awareness in the local community.   

Sheena Van Parys, co-owner of Home Instead commented; ‘it was great that Andy Fox joined our team meeting and shared his experiences of scams that are really happening in the local area, it reinforced all the work that we do in protecting the elderly.  As it is ‘Scams Awareness Month’, we thought it would be ideal to get some information out there to Stray FM listeners on how to keep safe from scams.’

Learn more about the session by listening to the Stray FM’s Health & Wellbeing show by following the link below. 

Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk  if you think someone has been scammed or is at risk of being scammed.