21 October 2020

Trading Standards encourage Aberdeenshire residents to become Friends Against Scams

This month marks the fourth year of the Friends Against Scams initiative created by the National Trading Standards Scam Team.

It was devised with the aim of protecting and preventing people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a stand against such crimes. 

The initiative involves members of the public completing a 20-minute online course which discusses scams, how to spot them and what you can do. Once completed, an online certificate is awarded, with a target of 1 million ‘friends’ being set. 

To celebrate its fourth year and to raise awareness of the initiative, NTSST are promoting ‘FASathon’ on Wednesday, October 21 in a bid to get even more people to complete the course.  

Aberdeenshire Trading Standards are a great supporter of the initiative with all officers having completed the course to become a ‘Friend Against Scams’. 

Senior Trading Standards Officer Vanessa Wilson, who leads the local fight against doorstep crime and scams, explained: “There has been a huge increase in the number of scams targeting people throughout Scotland and the UK over a number of years, but most notably since the beginning of the Covid pandemic. 

“Scammers do not discriminate and will target anybody, any business and even a local authority if it can identify a vulnerability and instill sufficient fear and panic to illicit an immediate response from the target before they have time to think about it. This online course provides knowledge and advice which is invaluable in the fight against scams.

Belinda Miller, Head of Economic Development and Protective Services, added: “Aberdeenshire Council remains fully committed to raising awareness of scams and scam prevention among its employees and residents. The knowledge gained from this training can be helpful in identifying victims of scams in the course of their work and directing to those who can provide advice, assistance and intervention if required.”

To find out more about the initiative, visit https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/