November 2022 Newsletter

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Welcome to the November edition of CAPASP news. With the clocks having recently gone forward, the nights are now drawing in.  It's that time of year that people spend more time indoors with fewer social interactions.

Please consider reaching out to people in your community who might not be engaging with local support or the digital world. Popping a scams prevention leaflet through their door might just save them the financial and emotional harm that scams bring. Find useful materials in  our resource library or contact us.

CAPASP Board Meetings

4 year anniversary image

September saw our Against Scams Partnership's first board meeting since the coronavirus pandemic. Kindly hosted by Clarion Housing Group at their March office, we were delighted to be able to welcome them and The Cambridge (building society) as new partners in our fight against scams.

The CAPASP board will be meeting again in December, the four year (fruit and flowers!) anniversary of the partnership, where we plan to celebrate some of the successes of the partnership but also look at new scams prevention initiatives to take us into the new year and beyond. 

Partner in the Spotlight: The Cambridge Building Society

The Cambridge is an independent, mutual society, which has been integral to the community since 1850. It provides funding for people buying their own homes and is a trusted home for people in a position to save.

Martin Croucher

Martin Croucher, Financial Crime Manager at The Cambridge

Martin Croucher, Financial Crime Manager at The Cambridge, will represent the society at CAPASP board meetings and has already got to work with partners planning a scams prevention campaign for International Fraud Awareness Week. Martin says "The Cambridge will be sharing insights, raising awareness of fraud and how to protect against it through our branch network, website and social media channels. During the week we'll be sharing videos on topics including the safe use of wi-fi and how to safely shop online, as well as highlighting the dangers of computer malware, impersonation fraud and money mules".

International Fraud Awareness Week runs 13th -19th November 2022. Find out more about what The Cambridge will be doing throughout the week here

Money Returned to Scam Victims

Cambridgeshire County Council's Community Protection Team have been busy this last month delivering refunds to victims of a sweepstake scam. 

The refunds come as a result of a successful prosecution of fraudsters in the USA, who were made to forfeit the proceeds of their crimes by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Victims worldwide are being refunded 20% of their losses with 3500 victims in the UK receiving a share of the £530,000 allocated to these shores.

Due to the legal proceedings taking place in USA, the money being returned to victims takes the form of US dollars on a prepaid Mastercard. Naturally this may cause difficulties and confusion for some victims so Community Protection Officers are supporting refund recipients with their options for use of the card, including the transfer of funds to their bank account. Read more about the investigation in this BBC News article.

Superstar Stephen!

Stephen Staniforth

Stephen Staniforth speaks to event delegates in Norwich

Stephen Staniforth, Sustainment Officer at Clarion Housing Group, has set a shining example to us all with his recent scams prevention efforts. Not only did Stephen get his employer to join CAPASP as an against scams partner, he also acts as a SCAMchampion for Clarion, delivering Friends Against Scams training to staff and tenants, and  has signed up as a scam marshal to report incoming scams to the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team. It is in this latter role that Stephen was invited to share his experiences at a recent event organised by Norfolk Police. The event took place on 15th October at The Forum in Norwich and Stephen gave an hour long talk about how he was scammed and why he become a scam marshal. Well done Stephen! 

If you have been targeted by a scam why not consider becoming a scam marshal yourself? You don't have to deliver a talk like Stephen did, it's all about sharing scam contact with the NTS Scams Team to help with their investigative and enforcement work. Find out more about the scheme here

CAPASP on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Every four weeks a CAPASP partner joins the 'Money Hour' show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to offer topical scams prevention advice. On 18th October it was Regan Harris, Head of Media and PR at Anglian Water, who joined host Jeremy Sallis with some useful information about Utilities Against Scams and the Priority Services Register (PSR). You can listen to Regan here. (Tip: click on the speaker icon to get play options).

Jeremy Sallis

Jeremy Sallis

Next time Charlotte Homent will be talking to Jeremy  about buying and selling online as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas shopping season loom large. Tune in on Tuesday 15th November from 10:30 a.m.


Norman Knapper

Norman Knapper

Sergeant Mark Rabel, from Cambridgeshire Constabulary's Fraud and Cyber Prevent Team, represented CAPASP on Norman Knapper's 'Over to You' show on 17th October. Sgt Rabel talked all things fraud and cybercrime and if you missed it, you can listen to the entire programme, retro tunes and all, here.

Charlotte Homent will be with Norman on 23rd November from 7:00 p.m. talking about staying safe when buying and selling online.

New Friends Against Scams

Friends Against Scams logo

October saw CAPASP partners delivering Friends Against Scams (scams awareness) talks to Eden Place residents (St Ives), Ely Trefoil Guild, Peterborough Alzheimers Group and timebanks in Sutton and Houghton and Wyton.

If you would like a Friends Against Scams talk to be delivered to your workplace, community group, club or parish council please contact us. We would be delighted to help. 

Energy scam calls up 85% in one month

Last month we warned about Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) smishing (text) scams.

Fraudsters are also exploiting people's worries about keeping warm this winter, to target them with scam phone calls offering grants for solar panels, loft insulation, spray foam, double or triple glazing and boiler replacement.

National Trading Standards reports here that analysis of incoming scam calls blocked by almost 10,000 call-blockers installed in UK homes, shows a staggering 85% increase from August to September alone in 'green' home improvement scam calls. Read more about this and other current scam trends here