To help you spread the word about scams and how people can avoid falling victim to them, we’ve compiled a range of free campaign materials that you can use to educate and inform people in your neighbourhood.
Communities that Care
Sign up to take part in the Communities that Care fraud prevention programme. Participating Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators complete the Friends Against Scams training and then receive a free volunteer pack containing a welcome letter, door and window stickers, a calling card and leaflets for each of the fraud types (online, doorstep, telephone and postal) with handy tips to keep yourself and your neighbours protected. These can be used as a checklist when talking to residents about fraud prevention and then left with them as a reminder.
The Communities that Care programme is also open to partner agencies and other community groups with staff or volunteers working directly with the public. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to sign up.
We have teamed up with Avast to create Cyberhood Watch, a UK Cyberhood Watch initiative, that will help people in Britain learn more about the cybersecurity risks that exist every time we go online, and discover which regions of the UK are the most at risk.
From phishing to viruses to ransomware, this community-led awareness programme looks at the impact cybercrime can have on our everyday lives, and provides simple tips on the steps we can take to protect ourselves, our friends and family, and our local community. Click here to see cybercrime insights and a cybercrime toolkit with a wide range of easy to follow, useful guides.
Friends Against Scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team (NTSST) initiative that aims to prevent and protect people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to “Take a stand against scams”.
- You can become a Friend Against Scams by completing the free interactive online learning session in the comfort of your own home or by attending a free awareness session run in your local area. These are 45-minute interactive sessions run across England, Wales and Northern Ireland that educate people about different types of scams, how to spot and support a victim and actions you can take as a Friend to raise awareness and protect your community against scammers.
- You can download a Help to manage finances and avoid scams for people at risk and those that support them document
- Friends Against Scams provides a list of ideas of actions you can take as a Friend, to raise awareness and protect your community against scammers.
- You can become a SCAM Champion by completing a short, 10-minute extra training session that equips you to run local Friends Against Scams awareness sessions. SCAM Champions also have access to resources on the NTSST website to learn more about scams and how to identify them and spread that knowledge among your community.
Local Trading Standards teams
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators can link up with their local Trading Standards office to get intelligence on scams circulating in their local area. They can then share this with their local Neighbourhood Watch members. To find the contact details for your local Trading Standards team, enter your postcode at this link and then scroll to the bottom of the page. It’s also worthwhile following your local Trading Standards Twitter feed, as they will usually post information there about new scams to look out for.
SLING YOUR HOOK campaign
This campaign taps into the psychology that scammers use to hook people in, helping you stay one step ahead and protect yourself and your loved ones against the increasing variety of scams happening every day. We’ve identified the following five behaviours scammers commonly use:
- They imply they’re doing you a favour (reciprocity)
- They indicate everyone else is doing this (social proof)
- They say your only chance is to act now (urgency)
- They act like they’re similar to you, so you like them and want to please them (connection)
- They ask you to do one little thing which makes you do more (commitment).
We also know that often victims of scams report that in hindsight they felt something wasn’t quite right at the time. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the tactics scammers use and encourages people to ‘stop and think’ if something doesn’t FEEL, SEEM, LOOK or SOUND right. This allows them time to trust your gut instinct and help prevent becoming a scam victim. Download a campaign pack to run the campaign on your social channels at a time that suits you.
- Leaflets that you can print off and put through people’s letterboxes or forward to them via email (See the Downloads section below)
- A Powerpoint presentation you can use at a public meeting to launch the campaign
- A SLING YOUR HOOK social media campaign pack
- A helpful digital money for seniors guide from Compare the Market
- A template campaign action plan. You don’t have to follow this to the letter, but it gives some ideas about using the Toolkit materials in a multi-week awareness and prevention campaign
- You can use this template cover letter to raise awareness of scams, and this information pack/toolkit, among your Neighbourhood Watch members, by email or as a Facebook post