Council works in partnership with NatWest on fraud awareness

Hounslow Council has teamed up with Natwest to prevent people in Hounslow falling victim to scams, and to support young people in vital financial education.

Published: Tuesday, 20th November 2018

Image of magnifying glass highlighting the word fraud.

Hounslow Council has teamed up with Natwest to prevent people in Hounslow falling victim to scams, and to support young people in vital financial education.

Sally Schofield, the NatWest Community Banker for West London, recently introduced drop-in sessions at Brentford Library to deliver ‘Friends Against Scams’ events that warn people about the dangers of scams and provide practical tips and advice to keep people safe.

The three topics presented are;

Friends Against Scams – this is a National Trading Standards initiative which aims to educate everyone on how scams work and on how we can all prevent ourselves falling victim

Digital safety – this covers the main types of digital fraud explaining what smishing, vishing and phishing are and educates people about what not to put on social media etc.

Ways to Bank – with lots of banks closing on the high street this third presentation explains in detail the options available to people and the benefits of each. Whilst it covers digital banking it also explains telephone banking and the services available at local post offices.

Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, Hounslow Council, said:

“Libraries have always been a place where people can access free expert advice and information, and this is a great example of educating the elderly and vulnerable.

 "Given today's tougher economic times it is more important than ever for people to be alert to prevent themselves, or others from falling victim to these heartless money-making schemes.

“Only a small percentage of victims report scams. By educating our residents to keep a look out, we will be better equipped to beat the scammers.

“Scams can be difficult to identify and can leave victims with financial problems and experiencing extreme distress. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of a scam to report their experience.”

During October half term, Sally has also been speaking to local children through MoneySense sessions, and discussing the needs, wants and the cost and responsibilities to owning a pet, as well as teaching them about managing money in a way that’s relevant to their lives.

Speaking about the partnership, Sally said:

“It’s been great to get out and about in the community to speak to people about the real dangers of falling prey to scams, and help them understand the ways that they can protect themselves.

“Delivering the events in the libraries in Hounslow has been fantastic, as we have been able to reach a really wide range of people at a time and a place that suits them. It’s also been great to see so many children in the libraries during half term and have some lively discussions and make learning about money real, relevant and fun.”

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