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Taking the lead role in protecting people against scams

Scams affect the lives of millions of people across the UK. People who are scammed often experience shame and social isolation but residents of East Herts have a big advantage - East Herts Council is the first district council in the country to train up its officers to spot the sign of scamming under the national Friends Against Scams initiative.

Virtually every single member of staff at East Herts Council, some 94%, has received a detailed face-to-face briefing on how to identify a scam, how to recognise the signs that someone may be the victim of scamming and how to advise victims.

Louise Baxter, head of the National Trading Standards scams team, congratulated East Herts Council and said: "Training staff who deal with residents every day helps to spread the messages about scams, so that victims can be supported and protected from fraudsters in the future.

"This will not only help the residents of East Herts but also friends and families of staff members who may be victims of scams."

Helen Standen, the council's scambassador and deputy chief executive, said: "It's easy to underestimate the effect that a scam can have on someone. People can end up thousands of pounds out of pocket, shamed on social media and too embarrassed to seek help, let alone tell friends or family.

"We're delighted to be the first district council in the country to have signed up to the Friends against Scams initiative and trained our staff. The fact that so many officers volunteered to do training shows our commitment to residents' wellbeing."