Home Office fund expansion of Scam Marshals programme

National Trading Standards’ flagship Scam Marshals programme is to be expanded thanks to new funding from the Home Office as part of the government’s Loneliness Strategy.

A Scam Marshal is any person in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Scam Marshals do this by sharing their own experiences, helping others to report and recognise scams and by sending any scam mail that they receive to the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work. This provides the NTS Scams Team with vital intelligence but also helps reduce the likelihood of former scam victims being scammed again.

The funding announced by the Home Office will allow the scheme to be expanded to improve the resilience of lonely or socially isolated older adults to fraud, scams and financial abuse. The new funding from the Home Office totals almost £100,000.

With scams costing the UK economy between £5bn and £10bn each year and 53% of people aged 65 or over saying they have been targeted by a scam, the Scam Marshals scheme plays a key role in supporting those who have been scammed or defrauded.

The Scam Marshals programme has already provided the NTS Scams Team with intelligence on criminal activity which is assisting ongoing investigations into those who operate mass marketing frauds.

Louise Baxter from the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said:

“The Scam Marshals programme has already been a great success and this new funding will help the initiative go from strength to strength. Scams cost the UK economy somewhere between £5bn and £10bn each year so the expansion of the Scam Marshals programme has the potential to have a big impact.”

Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said:

“Loneliness can cause people to feel detached from their neighbours and neighbourhoods, which may increase their vulnerability to becoming victims of crime.

“I’m extremely pleased the Home Office can support National Trading Standards in expanding their ‘Scam Marshals’ scheme to improve the resilience of lonely or socially isolated older adults to fraud, scams and financial abuse.”

“The Loneliness Strategy is a vital first step in a national mission to end loneliness.”

Notes to Editors

For more information about this case or for general enquiries about National Trading Standards please call 020 7025 7570 or e-mail

About National Trading Standards

  • National Trading Standards provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally
  • The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
  • National Trading Standards teams are based within local authority trading standards services
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  • For more information about the Friends Against Scams campaign please visit