DORSET Council Trading Standards has made a commitment to take a stand against scams by signing up to an anti-scam initiative.

The Trading Standards has become a Friends Against Scams Organisation. This is an initiative which aims to inform people about scams and how they can protect themselves against them.

The organisation says that more than half of people aged 65 and over have been targeted by a scam, and that only 5 per cent of victims will report a scam. It stresses the need to speak up about scams to help support victims and tackle perpetrators.

Jon Harris, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Dorset Council said: "Being recognized as a Friend Against Scams Organisation will help us to spread the message about the benefits of becoming a ‘Friend’ to grow the scheme within local communities across Dorset. This is about continuing to raise awareness of scams to help people protect themselves against financial abuse by rogues.

"Anyone can take a stand individually against scams and become a ‘Friend’ and other organisations can show their commitment by becoming a Friends Against Scams Organisation too."

A spokesman pointed out that scams can affect any and all people of all ages. They said that scams that can affect young people include purchases of first mobile phones or making payments to letting agents, while older people may be targeted with fake lottery wins and prize draws.

Other examples of scams they cite include fake calls from banks, and criminals exploiting loneliness by offering relationships and contact with the dead.

They further add that scammers can contact people multiple times a day, and that some people vulnerable to scams feel an obligation to reply to mail, leading them to reply to fraudulent messages.

The Friends Against Scams initiative wants to shine a light on the issue of scams and provide people with the necessary information to identify them. The initiative invites anyone to become a 'friend', and it aims to have a total of one million by 2020.

To find out more about the initiative and get involved, visit

It offers both face-to-face sessions and online learning.