Councillors back fight to rid East Sussex of scams and fraud

Councillors took part in a Friends Against Scams training session with Trading Standards officers Lee Ede (right) and Elaine Bowdery (left) SUS-181207-122524001
Councillors took part in a Friends Against Scams training session with Trading Standards officers Lee Ede (right) and Elaine Bowdery (left) SUS-181207-122524001

A scam-busting initiative to prevent residents from becoming victims of fraud has won the backing of county councillors.

Members of East Sussex County Council have become SCAMbassadors for Friends Against Scams, a scheme to help people spot and stop scams.

On Tuesday (July 10), councillors took part in the first formal training, finding out first-hand how scammers operate and what they can do to help stop residents from falling victim.

Cllr Bill Bentley, the county council’s lead member for communities and safety, said: “As councillors, we are quite often out and about in our communities meeting people from all walks of life. Being a SCAMbassador means we can use the knowledge we have learned to raise awareness of scams across our towns and villages.

“Being a victim of a scam can have a devastating impact, both financially and emotionally, and anything we can do as councillors to support the work of Trading Standards and prevent people falling foul of scammers is a good thing.”

Scams come in many forms; uninvited contact is received by email, letter, telephone or in person making false promises to con victims out of money. Commonly reported scams include fake investment opportunities, bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draws or sweepstakes, clairvoyants, computer software service fraud, romance scams, health supplement scams, subscription traps, and the sale of defective and potentially dangerous products.

Friends Against Scams is an initiative developed by the National Trading Standards Scams Team, hosted by the county council, which recruits and trains volunteer Friends, SCAMchampions and SCAMbassadors who share messages about scams prevention with friends, family, neighbours, and community groups.

Visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk.