Each year mass marketing mail scams, which often target vulnerable or disadvantaged consumers, cause approximately £3.5 billion worth of detriment to UK consumers.
The National Trading Standards Scams Team helps tackle mass marketing scams and disrupts the operations of perpetrators behind mail scams. It works in partnership with agencies across the country to identify and support victims of mass marketing fraud. The team provides guidance, best practice and establishes a centre of excellence to assist local authorities in supporting local victims and taking local enforcement action.
The team in action
The team launched an initiative with Royal Mail and Trading Standards Scotland to create a new process for cancelling the contracts of companies that send fraudulent mail. So far over 6,000 items of mail have been returned as part of the operation in the UK and more than £186,985 has been returned to victims.
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative that aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to... 'Take a Stand Against Scams.' It is designed to inspire action, highlight the scale of the problem, change the perceptions of why people fall for scams and make scams a community, regional and national topic.
Friends Against Scams awareness sessions are run across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can find your nearest session here.
Alternatively, you can complete an online learning session in the comfort of your own home, at work or wherever, is most convenient for you. The online learning is also interactive, so you will be able to learn about scams in a fun way. You can find the online training here.
By attending a Friends Against Scams awareness session or completing the online learning, anyone can learn about the different types of scams and how to spot and support a victim. With increased knowledge and awareness, people can make scams part of everyday conversation with their family, friends and neighbours which will enable them to protect themselves and others.
Anyone can be a Friend Against Scams and make a difference in their own way.
The team has also been working with the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator to ensure that charities do not inadvertently or otherwise support or encourage scams. This guidance for charities is available here.
Reporting scam mail
Potentially fraudulent mail should be reported to Royal Mail:
- Write to Freepost Scam Mail
- Call 03456 113 413
- Email email@example.com
Scams Team Press Releases
One million people empowered to tackle scams
24th January 2018
Scams Awareness Month 2017
3rd July 2017
Government helps dementia sufferers in fight against nuisance calls
6th April 2017
Statement from National Trading Standards
28th January 2017
New Campaign To Tackle Criminal Scams Launched
6th October 2016
The National Trading Standards Work Areas
National Trading Standards has teams overseeing a range of issues, from copycat websites to doorstep crime.
Consumer Harm Report 2017
National Trading Standards (NTS) prevented nearly £127 million in losses to consumers and businesses over the last year, new figures from the third annual Consumer Harm Report reveal. This represents an increase of more than a third on last year and takes the total losses prevented by NTS over the last three years to nearly half a billion pounds (over £471 million).
Scams Awareness Month 2017
Citizens Advice and partners across the consumer protection landscape are leading activities throughout the month of July for Scams Awareness Month.
Consumer Harm Report 2015-16
National Trading Standards’ annual Consumer Harm Report highlights key data and emerging threats to consumers