July is Scams Awareness Month. This campaign is led by Citizen’s Advice and Trading Standards Services, and aims to give people the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.
As mentioned in our last post on the new guidance on financial abuse, issued by ADASS, internet scams, postal scams and doorstep crime are often directed at adults at risk, with fraudsters often targeting older and disabled people. These people may be particularly vulnerable to financial abuse.
Financial abuse includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with financial matters, or the misuse of someone else's finances. Financial abuse was the second highest recorded category of abuse in Lambeth 2016/17, accounting for 13% of all safeguarding concerns.
Scams can be hard to spot, but you can keep yourself and others safe by knowing the signs. A scammer might try to pressure you in to making a decision on the spot or to pay up front, or they might ask you to share to personal details with them.
Someone you know might be being targeted if they have letters piling up, are having lots of different items delivered, are anxious when the phone rings, or get a lot of phone calls, or become secretive when discussing finances.
There are a number of resources available online to help in the fight against scams and financial abuse.
Download the Metropolitan Police’s Little Book of Big Scams, which outlines 10 Golden Rules to help beat scammers, information on what to do if you uncover a scam, and other useful contacts such as Royal Mail, the Mail Preference System or the Telephone Preference System.
Access support and advice through Think Jessica, a charity set up to raise awareness and campaign for change by making people aware of the danger and financial implications caused by postal and telephone scams
Complete a short online course and join Friends Against Scams
Find out about No Cold Calling Zones in Lambeth or find out how your street could become a No Cold Calling Zone.
Report scams and fraud to Action Fraud
The LSAB Community Reference Group is also planning an event to help raise awareness of financial abuse. It is hoped that this event will take place in December 2017 – please keep an eye on our training and events page for further updates on this event.