Isle of Wight Council




Friends Against Scams

Would you like to learn a little bit more about scams and join the National Trading Standards Scam Team in their bid to recruit 1 Million Friends Against Scams by 2020?

All you need to do is  watch a short video which raises awareness of the harm that can be caused by scams and how you can spot a potential victim.

This small step might stop somebody you know or care for losing thousands of pounds to criminals - become a Friend!


Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

Members of the public should ignore scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19. In some cases individuals may be pressurised on their own doorsteps to buy anti-virus kits or persuaded into purchasing products that are advertised on their social media feeds. In addition, some call centres that previously targeted UK consumers with dubious health products are now offering supplements that supposedly prevent COVID-19.

Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals. While there are genuine groups of volunteers providing help during self-isolation, there have been reports of criminals preying on residents – often older people or people living with long-term health conditions – by cold-calling at their homes and offering to go to the shops for them. The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money. There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.

Further information around scams related to the Coronavirus and advice on how to protect yourself and your families can be found on our pages and on the Friends Against Scams web site

Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership (IWASP)

The IOW Trading Standards Service has joined forces with the Police, Fire and Rescue, Age Friendly Island and Citizens Advice Bureau to form a partnership called IWASP. 

IWASP is an acronym for Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership. 

Under the Charter all of these organisations will work together to better protect people on the Isle of Wight from scams, doorstep crime and fraud and to support victims. IWASP doesn't intend to stop there though, we hope to increase our partnership providing on-going support and information from a wide range of organisations and agencies.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary a Scam is: "A trick, a ruse, a swindle, a racket" its nearest synonym is fraud!

Scams make victims part with their money and personal details by intimidating them or promising cash, prizes, services and fictitious high returns on investment. Its important to remember that no matter what type of scam, all scams are crimes.

  • Approximately 3.2 million people (1 in every 15) fall victim to scams each year.
  • The average age of a scam victim is 75.
  • Scams cost the UK economy between 5 and 10 billion pounds each year.
  • Only 5% of these crimes are ever reported.

These statistics make for quite frightening reading and with an increasing elderly population on the Island this problem will only increase.

For further information on the different types of scams .