RESIDENTS and organisations across Wirral are being urged to 'take a stand against scams' and attend free awareness sessions in a trading standards campaign.

The Friends against Scams sessions are designed to equip residents with the practical tools to spot a scam and report it.

Through these sessions 'friends' are recruited and asked to commit to passing on their newly found knowledge to friends and family and potentially identify more victims of scams.

Attendees who wish to play a bigger role can attend an extra training session and become a 'scam champion', enabling you to recruit new Friends against Scams.

Scams are the product of organised criminals who try and gain people's trust to exploit and steal money.

Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral's cabinet member for environment said: "This campaign is about protecting our communities, particularly people in vulnerable situations who are deliberately targeted by criminals and we hope the people of Wirral will get on board with us.

"If anyone ever contacts you, be it by phone, email or knocking on your door and you are in any doubt, say NO and end the exchange as quickly as you can."

Figures show scamming is on the rise with 53% of people aged over 65 being targeted and scams costing the UK between £5-10 billion each year.

However, anyone can fall victim to a scam, regardless of age, gender, education or economic background and might not always admit or be aware they are the victim of a scam.

Consequently, only 5% of victims report the crime.

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