Monmouthshire County Council has joined forces with the Friends Against Scams campaign, an initiative that aims to change the perception of scams and raise awareness of the financial and emotional impact of mass market scamming.

As an official partner the council has joined the National Trading Standards Scams Team in a national network to protect and prevent people from falling victim to this type of fraud.

Council Leader Peter Fox said: “Scams are fraud and fraud is crime.  Scams often target the most vulnerable people in society but the reality is that anyone can become a victim.  Monmouthshire is pleased to be a partner in the fight against these criminals.

“Scams damage lives and can affect people financially and emotionally so we are very pleased to affiliate to the national team and others working together to inspire action, highlight the scale of the problem, change perceptions of why people fall victim and prevent people from becoming victims.  By signing up as a partner we pledge to use our networks to help create scam-free communities.”

Scams affect millions of people across the UK and cost consumers an estimated £5 to10bn of detriment each year.  Scams are a pervasive, criminal threat, which in addition to the financial damage can also cause detrimental, long-term psychological effects and ultimately destroy lives.

Manager of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, Louise Baxter said: “Tactics used by criminals often leave victims socially isolated and ashamed to tell their friends and families what’s really going on behind closed doors.

“It is fantastic that the council is to help us tackle this problem and I would encourage all those interested in showing their support to join the campaign and be part of our growing Friends Against Scams network.”

Visit the website www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk for more information.