Guidance for councillors, directors, managers and social work practitioners

A mass marketing scam is a misleading or deceptive business practice where the person receives an unsolicited or uninvited contact (e.g. by letter, email, phone or advertisement) and false promises are made to con the victim out of money. A doorstep scam is whereby victims are cold called at their homes and persuaded to part with money as a result of rogue trading activity.

Victims of scams, whether that is mass marketing scam or doorstep scam, are victims of financial abuse. The Care Act 2014 puts all local authorities under a duty to take steps to prevent individuals being subject to financial abuse. It also requires them to take suitable steps to prevent or delay adults needing care and support; preventing people becoming victims is a key element of maintaining health and wellbeing in later life.

Local trading standards services are at the forefront of tackling financial abuse through their activities in identifying, visiting and supporting victims of scams. They are also actively working in partnership with the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team to deliver key education to help promote the continued health and wellbeing of those potentially at risk. (e.g.

ADASS and the NTS Scams Team are therefore committed to working together to support the valuable work undertaken locally by both adult social care and trading standards professionals. This document seeks to provide valuable information on how we can achieve this and together recognise and respond to the signs of financial abuse. We are also pleased to have the support of the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Adult Principal Social Worker Network (APSWN).

This guide gives some key information on the effects of scams on the continued health and wellbeing of individuals which we believe is essential for all those working in the adult social care sector to be aware of. The latter part of the guidance then is divided into sections to address the following specific roles:

  • Councillors
  • Safeguarding Adults Boards
  • Health & Wellbeing Boards
  • Practitioners

The full guidance can be downloaded below.