Next week, we’re supporting Fraud Awareness Week 2023 – a week dedicated to raise awareness and minimise the impact of all types of fraud against our residents, our council and businesses in Barnsley.
Scarily, fraud remains the most common type of crime experienced by victims in England and Wales, costing the UK billions of pounds every year and increasing year on year. Fraud Awareness Week, which we’re running from Monday 13 November until Friday 17 November, is a perfect opportunity to support our residents against the many risks of fraud - including the latest scams, things to look out for, how to stop it and report it. With local authorities continuing to face significant fraud challenges, it’s also an opportunity to remind our employees of the growing threats we face so we can join forces and fight fraud together.
The campaign will be rolled out across the borough to reach our residents, employees and businesses. Here’s what we have in store:
- On Friday 17 November, our Corporate Anti-Fraud team are hosting a Fighting Fraud Information Event from 9am to 3pm in Barnsley Markets on the ground floor, near to the escalator. Members of the team, including Trading Standards will be on hand to offer advice about fraud and scams ranging from identifying counterfeit goods to protecting ourselves against cybercrime and identity theft. So, if you’re out and about, pop along for a chat with the team about protecting you and your family.
- We will be running a Fighting Fraud social media campaign throughout the week sharing lots of tips, advice and information about how to protect yourself from different types of fraud. Please follow and share the campaign on our Facebook page.
- We will also be running a campaign for our employees to help protect the council and public funds from fraud. This will include information events for staff, training courses and staff news articles.
Cllr Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services, said: “Fraud is a very serious crime and worryingly, one that is continuing to grow and become more deceitful. As technology and the digital age continue to evolve, so too are the acts of fraud with criminals continuing to undermine robust security systems and devising new scams to exploit innocent people.
“This makes weeks like Fraud Awareness Week so important and I’m delighted that we are running this campaign to raise awareness, educate and protect our residents, businesses and of course our colleagues. It’s easy to think it’ll never happen to us or to think it only happens to older, more vulnerable people, but reports suggest that scams affect every age group, just in different ways.
“Please take time to follow the campaign online and support the information event for lots of hints and tips. I’d also urge anyone who suspects or knows of someone who is committing fraud against the council, to please report it to us anonymously so we can protect public money. Also, remember to support and protect vulnerable friends and family against by sharing information and warning them about any scams they may be exposed to.
” There’s no quick fix or easy solution, but we are a borough of strong, resilient communities and can all do our bit to keep informed, protect the most vulnerable and fight fraud together.”
For more information about fraud, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk
For more information about fraud against the council and how to report it, please visit www.barnsley.gov.uk/fraud.