On 8 April TSB in Oswestry will be hosting a workshop for local residents in a bid to raise awareness of how fraudsters operate, including the latest tricks and scams and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

The initiative comes at a time when fraud is becoming more elaborate, more sophisticated and more plausible; the latest figures show that almost £1.2 billion was stolen by fraudsters committing both authorised and unauthorised fraud in 2019.  But banks like TSB are fighting back, with the industry successfully preventing a staggering £1.66 billion of unauthorised fraud in 2019 – the equivalent of £2 in every £3 of attempted fraud.

The National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team has secured government funding to provide free* call blocking units to help protect people in receipt of scam or nuisance phone calls and feel their circumstance may make them more likely to fall for a scam. Details are available from www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/callblocker

What is a call blocker and how does it work?

The NTS Scams Team is supplying the trueCall Secure Plus call blocker unit. A call blocker is a unit that filters unwanted scam or nuisance phone calls from your landline (this unit does not work with mobile phones). The call blocker checks the caller’s number. If it is a trusted caller then it allows the phone to ring as normal. If the caller isn’t recognised, then the call blocker acts as a personal assistant by intercepting the call and asking the caller to identify themselves. This process blocks unwanted calls without the phone ever ringing. If you want even more protection, the call blocker can completely block calls from unrecognised callers with an automated message asking them to hang up and call a nominated person if their call is important. The unit plugs into an existing phone and phone line, it can work alongside broadband and/or lifeline/pendant devices that are already installed.

Simon Peleszok Bank Manager, TSB Oswestry says: “Fraud is a serious crime and can have both a financial and emotional impact on our local communities. The branch Partners and I are in constant dialogue with our customers and people in the Oswestry community and we hear lots of people say they’re concerned about fraud and want to know more about how they can protect themselves.

“No one is too smart to be scammed, and that’s why it’s so important that we are hosting this workshop for not only our customers but everyone in the community – to help stop them from becoming victims. By taking time to stop, think and check before making a payment, we can work together to beat the fraudsters.”

TSB’s fraud awareness workshops are just one of the many ways the Bank is tackling the issue of fraud head-on. TSB recently announced its Fraud Refund Guarantee to ensure the Bank’s 5.2 million customers are protected if they are an innocent victim of fraud.  TSB is also helping local police forces to pursue the criminals that sit behind fraud, giving the police the information, they need hunt down fraudsters and bring them to justice.

For more information about future workshops pop into your local branch and speak to a TSB Partner.