More than 20 organisations are signing up to a new partnership to intensify the fight against scams and to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough a scam-free county.
Led by the county council and police the groups include East Cambridgeshire Community Safety Partnership, Fenland Community Safety Partnership Trading Standards, Age UK, Neighbourhood Watch and NatWest Bank, who will work together to raise awareness of scams and to support victims of scams.
According to Action Fraud, 53 per cent of people aged 65 or over have been targeted by scams and criminals. Being a victim of this crime can have devastating impact.
These crimes are often targeted at people in our communities that are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including poverty, isolation, frailty, disability, cognitive impairment, and by the very nature of them being specifically targeted.
Anyone can be a scam victim, regardless of age, gender, education or economic background; partners are committed to act on the Against Scams Partnership four key aims:
•Improve awareness of scams
•Increase protection for everyone, and especially vulnerable people, against scams
•Implement consistent recording of scams and improve referral processes
•Improve support for potential victims of scams
Cllr Steve Criswell, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Communities and Partnership committee said: “The impact of scams on a victim can be devastating, in some cases people lose their hard earned life savings and are left emotionally and financially unable to continue to live independently.
“We need to increase the awareness of how to spot a scam and share that knowledge with friends and neighbours.”
Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Each year fraud costs the UK economy between £5 and 10bn and it’s believed that only five per cent of victims actually report the crime. It’s vital that we stand together to tackle this issue head on. We all need to work together to achieve the same goal, which is a scam-free county.”
Join us in our Friends Against Scams campaign by taking part here : https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/elearning/Cambridgeshire
If you think you or a relative, friend or neighbour have been the victim of a scam or fraud or you are concerned about a possible scam or fraud, please report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Action Fraud on 0300 123
Organisations taking part in the Against Scams Partnership are:
Cambridgeshire County Council
Peterborough City Council
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Safe Local Trades
Huntingdonshire Society for the Blind
Citizens Advice Peterborough
Citizens Advice Cambridge
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue
The Bobby Scheme
East Cambridgeshire Community Safety Partnership
South Cambridgeshire Community Safety Partnership
Fenland Community Safety Partnership
Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership
Cambridge City Council and Community Safety Partnership
Wisbech Town Council
For support and advice on scams (e.g. rogue traders, romance scams, scam mail, telephone calls, text messages, emails), call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06
For a non-emergency response (if you have been a victim of a fraud/scam), call Cambridgeshire Police on 101
If you have been affected by crime, get emotional and practical help from Cambridgeshire Victim and Witness Hub on 0800 781 6818
To report a fraud, or suspected fraud, and share information to help stop others from becoming victims, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040