Supporting customers and helping employees spot, stop and prevent a scam

Utilities Against Scams (UAS) is part of the Friends Against Scams initiative, developed by the National Trading Standards Scams Team, to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a stand against scams.

Why is it important we focus on this work?

Only 5% of scams are reported and more than 50% of people aged 65 plus have been targeted by criminals. Utility companies interact with customers daily, whether this is face to face when carrying out work in a community or in a customer’s home, having a telephone conversation or communicating digitally.
Therefore, we can play a crucial part in spotting signs that a customer could need support and alerting those organisations who can help.

Standing together against scams

Utilities Against Scams (UAS) provides a way for utility companies to sign up and commit to taking a stand against scams. We are creating a clear and consistent approach in how essential providers of communications, energy and water can spot, stop and prevent scams as we interact with the communities we serve. Through principles-based advice, we will allow companies to support customers, colleagues and demonstrate good company practice in a way that is accessible to all within their existing resources.

Benefits of becoming a UAS organisation:

  • UAS is designed to help employees and interested consumer groups of utility companies, wishing to improve their scam awareness and prevention within their organisation by making simple changes. These might include increasing employees’ awareness of scams and improving customer experience.
  • We can also have a positive effect on our customers through scam education and empowerment.
  • Collaborate with other utilities and learn from each other and provide examples of good practice.

All of these allow us to make positive steps in raising awareness and preventing the number of those who fall victim to scams, whilst also meaning we positively impact this important social issue.

All utility companies are being encouraged to join Utilities Against Scams to demonstrate their commitment to scams prevention work.

Members of the National Mental Capacity Forum Utilities Working Group have worked with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to develop a version of the Friends Against Scams training specifically for the utilities industry. This training is available on PowerPoint free of charge to any utility company that becomes a Utilities Against Scams company, along with access to key social media messages and tailored consumer materials that have been developed by the group.

Find out more about Utilities Against Scams by reading our practical guide

How to become a Utilities Against Scams organisation

Your company can become a UAS organisation if you commit to the following:

Promotion – ensuring that the FAS initiative is promoted to your customers by actively distributing the materials that have been developed.

Training – giving your staff access to the UAS training materials and agreeing to feed back the number of staff trained to the NTS Scams Team.

In addition to these commitments above, it would also be useful if your company could:

Pledge – make a pledge about the work you are planning to support Utilities Against Scams.

Put forward a SCAMbassador – consider signing up at least one senior ‘SCAMbassador’ within your company. This person should be able to help raise the profile of UAS and scams awareness in your company, such as a Chief Executive or a Director

Share on social – actively support UAS on social media by using the hash tags #FriendsAgainstScams #ScamAware

If you would like to become a UAS organisation, please email the lead contact in the NTS Scams Team Nikki