Barnsley fights back for Fraud Awareness Week

We’re supporting International Fraud Awareness Week this year – a global effort to raise awareness and minimise the impact of fraud.  

The week of awareness begins on Sunday 14 November and runs until Saturday 20 November. We’ll be supporting the week at a local level in Barnsley with our own Fraud Awareness Campaign – Spot It, Stop It.  

Fraud is a serious crime that can affect anybody. Trickery or lying is used to gain money or financial benefit from another person, organisation or business. There are many types of fraud out there and they are forever changing, evolving, getting cleverer and more deceitful. We’re seeing new fraudulent activity and scams hitting us every day which makes this campaign more relevant today than ever.  

In light of recent fraudulent activity against the council, the timing of this campaign has come at a better time and really highlights that fraud can happen to anyone - whether you’re an elderly resident, a multi-million-pound business or a local authority like us.  

The campaign will be rolled out across the borough to reach all residents, businesses and organisations with a number of activities taking place throughout the week: 

  • A ‘Spot it, Stop It’ social media campaign will be rolled out providing residents with vital information, advice and top tips about all aspects of fraud - ranging from phone scams and identity theft to cyber-crime and phishing. Please follow and share the campaign on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 
  • We’ll be holding two Fraud Awareness events in the town centre - the first event will be held on Wednesday 17 November at Market Parade, followed by an event on Friday 19 November at the Library @ the Lightbox. Both events will run from 9am to around 3:30pm. These events will have members of the Corporate Anti-Fraud team, Trading Standards and IT on hand to provide help and advice. Trading standards will share examples of counterfeit goods and IT will provide information about cybercrime, identity theft and phishing.     
  • The campaign will also focus on raising awareness of council related fraud - such as misuse of blue badges, unlicensed or illegal taxis and council tax fraud, to encourage residents to report any instances to us. 
  • An internal campaign is also being rolled out to council employees to support and help staff  take a proactive stance against fraud through training, increasing awareness of fraud, how to spot it and deal with it. 

 

Cllr Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services, said: “We are wholly committed to preventing and detecting fraud – against residents, businesses and the council.  

“The recent fraud attack against the council was a stark reminder that anyone can fall victim of fraud, and no one can become complacent as criminals continue to undermine robust security systems, devise new scams and find new ways to exploit innocent people and businesses. 

“I’m delighted that we are joining the global fight against fraud in Barnsley to protect all our residents and businesses. We would also urge anyone who suspects or knows of fraudulent activity against the council to report it to us. 

“So, please take time to read the information and top tips to spot and stop fraud. Also remember to support and protect vulnerable friends and family against being a victim of fraud by sharing information and warning them about any scams they are exposed to. 

“Although this campaign is being run for a week – remember we are all at risk every single day and must keep fighting fraud all year round.” 

The campaign is being supported by partners including South Yorkshire Police, Berneslai Homes, local businesses and services across the council to maximise the impact we have on protecting all sectors, communities and residents. Together we can spot it, stop it and stamp out fraud. 

Click here for more information or to report fraud against the council.  

To report scams and other fraudulent activities, visit this section of our website.  

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