Norfolk residents urged to take free scam awareness training
This week is Friends Against Scams Week and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk is supporting a national drive to help as many people as possible learn how to protect themselves, their family and friends against scams.
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to become more scam aware.
The initiative has been running for four years and over half a million people have already completed the free scams awareness training it provides.
On Wednesday 21 October, the Friends Against Scams (FAS) team is running a ‘FASathon’ to get as many people as possible in one day to complete the online awareness training and learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones from scams.
Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, who is also a Friends Against Scams SCAMbassador, said: "Anyone can be the victim of a scam. Who among us has not had that phone call, email or knock on the door by parties unknown seeking heartlessly to steal from us?
"The emotional and financial hurt of being the victim of a scam can be massive, as evidenced recently by the story of a Breckland resident conned out of almost £60,000 by criminals claiming to be police officers.
"Key to preventing that harm is sharing information and advice, and learning how to keep ourselves safe.
"I would urge all Norfolk residents to dedicate just one hour of this action week to taking a stand against scams by doing the Friends Against Scams online training.
"And if you've been the victim of a scam, please don't suffer in silence. The Norfolk Scam Prevention Service is there to help you cope and recover from what you've experienced."
The Norfolk Scam Prevention Service, delivered by Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, is a free and confidential service offering specialist support to individuals that have been targeted by scammers.
The service, commissioned by the PCC and supported by the partners who make up the Norfolk Against Scams Partnership, helped 1,200 people affected by scams last year. Feedback from those using the service shows it is helping people feel more confident, safer and better placed to cope with the impact of what they have experienced.
Kami Al-Faris, service coordinator for the Norfolk Scam Prevention Service, said: "We can help victims cope and recover from their experience, providing practical advice and information so they can get back their confidence and feel safe again.
"If you have been affected by a scam and would like to talk in confidence with a specialist member of our team phone 101 followed by extension 5005 or email email@example.com.”