Fraud awareness poster wins national award
The work of Carmarthenshire Trading Standards to support the wellbeing of vulnerable people has been recognised with a national public health award.
A poster illustrating the team’s innovative Financial Exploitation Safeguarding Scheme (FESS) won the top award at the Wales Public Health Conference earlier this month.
FESS works not only to prevent fraud and identify victims but also protects them from further exploitation by putting a range of measures in place from social care and housing teams.
It also forms part of an academic research project undertaken with Cardiff University to evaluate Trading Standards Interventions from a health and social care perspective.
Evidence has already linked the experience or threat of fraud to ill health – in particular mental health, with many older victims suffering from emotional, social and medical stresses.
Left unattended, this can often lead to increased burdens on health and social care services.
The Carmarthenshire Trading Standards team have been running its FESS scheme since 2014, providing a package of measures to support victims and promoting fraud awareness to community groups.
By linking in with banks and other organisations the scheme has so far prevented £434,000 leaving victims’ bank accounts and returned over £70,000 to local victims.
The poster is part of a package of materials used to communicate key messages with vulnerable groups.
Cllr Jim Jones, Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “It was a lovely surprise to win this award for our poster, one of the many ways we spread our messages about fraud.
“Fraud can have a devastating impact on victims. I’m proud of the work the team does - not only in raising awareness, but helping victims by putting in place a range of measures to support their health and wellbeing.”
He added: “If anyone is concerned that they are a victim, or believe that someone they know could be a victim, please act quickly to get advice and support. “We will work tirelessly to uncover fraudsters and help bring them to justice.”
Take a stand against fraud. Here are some things to look out for:
- Out of the blue phone calls, letters and emails
- Being asked to send money to claim a prize
- Being told of winnings when a competition wasn’t entered
- Too good to be true offers
- Pressure selling
- Uninvited door step callers
- Being asked share your personal details
Carmarthenshire Trading Standards can be contacted on 01267 234567.