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April 2020 - June 2020

This newsletter is also covering Quarter Four from 2019-20 (January - March)
Welcome to the Friends Against Scams (FAS) Newsletter. Continue reading below for updates on the work of the Friends Against Scams team.

In this issue:
- Friends Against Scams Stats
- Friends Against Scams Update
- Scams Awareness Fortnight and 500,000 Friends
- Businesses Against Scams

- Scam Alert - Latest scams to warn others

If there is anything you'd like to see in the next newsletter or if you have any feedback, please email the team at
Friends - 519,606
SCAMchampions - 1,877
Organisations - 248
Scam Marshals - 1,588
SCAMbassadors - 208
Due to coronavirus, the FAS team has had to adjust our normal processes. Following government advice, all face-to-face awareness sessions have been cancelled or postponed until the situation changes and it is safe to resume. There are some training sessions being held virtually, which can be found on the session map on the Friends website.

The team have made some updates and produced new materials to help raise awareness of coronavirus scams:

- Developed a postcard with warnings about coronavirus related scams and specific advice on how to protect yourself and others.

- Aimed to ensure the information on the postcard is accessible; the team worked with Alzheimer's Society to produce a dementia-friendly version. East Sussex Involvement Matters Team helped to produce an easy read version of the postcard. The dementia-friendly version of the postcard is available on request at and the easy read version of the postcard is available on our website here.
- The online training has also been updated to include information about coronavirus scams and advice on how to keep yourself and others safe from them. This is available here.
The team supported the Citizens Advice Scams Awareness Fortnight and produced a social media pack for partners - a massive thank you to everyone who supported the #ScamAware campaign.

Friends Against Scams passed a massive milestone halfway through Scams Awareness Fortnight: over 500,000 people have now completed our training! This was achieved through the collective efforts of everyone who has supported the Friends Against Scams initiative – Thank you!

Thanks to all of the hard work, 500,000 people now understand the different types of scams, know how to spot the signs, and can actively work to protect their family, friends and neighbours.

The Friends Against Scams lead, Nikki, also wrote a guest article for Which? about this milestone and the work still to be done. This can be read here
In April, the team launched a new initiative to combat fraud against businesses. As the coronavirus pandemic caused employees to start working from home, it also increased their exposure to sophisticated business scams.

Criminals acknowledged people were now working away from their colleagues and used this as an opportunity to impersonate government officials or senior members of businesses to put pressure on employees to give out sensitive information or make payments.

Businesses Against Scams provides free online training modules which include examples of common scams and how to avoid falling victim to them. This will help businesses upskill and train their workforce to help identify and prevent scams.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

“Scams are despicable at any time, but particularly so if they seek to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As businesses adopt new working practices in response to the outbreak, it is important they stay vigilant against scams.

“I urge business leaders to sign up to the excellent Businesses Against Scams initiative and make use of free training to help protect their employees, customers and businesses from being taken advantage of during this difficult period and beyond.”

You can find out more about Businesses Against Scams here.
Here are a few news stories about scams from this quarter. If you find this interesting make sure to check out the link at the bottom to subscribe to the team's fortnightly Scam Alert!

Public warned of rogue traders in East Ayrshire

20th July 2020

East Ayrshire Council and Police Scotland have joined forces to stamp out doorstep crime and bogus callers by supporting the national Shut Out Scammers campaign. more

Face masks scam as criminals imitate police
17th July 2020

Criminals targeting residents of the Outer Hebrides have been claiming to be police and castigating people for not wearing face masks. more

Warning issued over Amazon Prime phishing scam

17th July 2020

A scam where criminals pose as Amazon customer service staff to steal personal information has been flagged by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

It warns that people are being contacted with emails and phone calls claiming they have opened an Amazon Prime account.


For more Scam Alerts, click here
For advice on scams, call
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline:

0808 223 1133

(Please note, this is a new number and the old Citizens Advice number of 03454 04 05 06 will still be active for the time being.)

To report scams, contact
Action Fraud:

0300 123 2040
Email address
For Friends Against Scams enquiries -


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National Trading Standards Scams Team · National Trading Standards Scams Team · National Trading Standards Scams Team · Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3UU · United Kingdom