Friends Against Scams
What do you do when that piece of junk mail drops onto the mat from someone promising you free gifts or cut price goods? What if someone comes to your door offering to sell something or do work on your home? Perhaps the first thought is that you’d chuck it in the bin or slam the door in their face; right? Well, the Friends Against Scams work very hard to demonstrate that this is far more complex issue than might be realised at first glance …
Remarkably, a good crowd of people braved the snow and headed to Buckingham Library on 1st March to hear from the wonderfully committed folks from Trading Standards share and explore the prevalence and sheer complexity of the kind of scams that are currently perpetrated against vulnerable people in communities. Whilst we might be familiar with the idea of rogue traders calling at the door, or mail scammers jamming stuff through the letterbox, those who attended were introduced to the sheer infrastructure that underpins these types of fraudulent activity. From the selling of individuals’ details (often including age, which can be a huge signal as to how ‘profitable’ a person might be) to the paying of spotters to be lookouts in target neighbourhood which alerts scammers if the police are in the area so they can move on without being caught. This really is organised crime! Something that chimed for us in Prevention Matters was the recognition that those who are lonely and isolated stand a greater risk of being scammed, as the contact with the scammers maybe the only social interaction some people experience at all; a sobering thought.
For anyone who wants to know more, you can find out information at the Friends Against Scams website and if you want to learn more, why not attend a local session?