December 2020

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Christmas is coming and sadly it's not just the goose that's getting fat. I've not been as active as I should have been during our national lockdowns - and in this colder weather, salads just don't cut it!

If you're feeling 'stodgy' like I am then read on to find out why free trials of weight loss and cosmetic products might not be the answer...

Also in this issue we bring news of campaigns galore in the run up to Christmas, and Perri at The Bobby Scheme (a fabulous CAPASP partner), explains the role they play in helping residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to feel safe in their homes.

Enjoy reading and may you have a happy and scam-free Christmas with loved ones. With our most grateful thanks for your support over the last year. See you in 2021!

Have yourself a #FraudFreeXmas


Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online as they search for bargains and gifts for loved ones in the run up to Christmas.

Reports of online shopping fraud have surged by 30% over the pandemic as many of us continue to shop online in light of current restrictions.

The #FraudFreeXmas campaign will highlight a different type of fraud, and provide important protect advice, every week during December to prevent people from getting conned out of the Christmas they deserve.

Figures from Action Fraud show that criminals conned 17,405 shoppers out of almost £13.5 million over the Christmas period last year, an increase of over 20% when compared to the same period in 2018.

Please support the campaign by sharing Action Fraud's key messages that you can find on their twitter account @actionfrauduk, on social media with the hashtag  #FraudFreeXmas.

December Scamnesty


The 3rd December marks the start of National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team's Scamnesty month.

Scamnesty, a scam mail amnesty, is designed to encourage everyone in the UK to chat with their loved ones about scams and to send in any scam or unwanted mail to the team free of charge.

The NTS Scams Team already receive thousands of pieces of scam mail from their dedicated Scam Marshals which is used to investigate the criminals behind the scams and perform effective disruption and enforcement work. Since 2016, the NTS Scams Team have stopped 10,069,130 items of fraudulent mail landing on consumers' doorsteps. 

For Scamnesty, the NTS Scams Team are opening up the freepost address to everyone in the UK. The team will use the intelligence gained for investigations and to encourage those taking part to sign up as a Scam Marshal. Find out more, including the freepost address and team privacy policy, on the Friends Against Scams website from 3rd December.



The England Illegal Money Lending Team launched their annual Stop Loan Sharks Week Christmas campaign on 30th November. The theme this year is avoiding loan sharks online amid concerns more people are falling prey to unscrupulous lenders on social media.

Worryingly, one in five victims met their lender on social media in the first half of 2020.

You can support the campaign by sharing the digital assets (found here) on your social media accounts, external newsletters, website, blogs and other channels to signpost the public to advice on how to report loan sharks via . Don't forget to use the hashtag #SharkFreeSurfing.

Other Current Campaigns...

In addition to the campaigns highlighted above there is plenty more that you might like to read and share this festive season:

Get Safe Online have put together some excellent tips for an #onlinechristmas - not just about shopping safely online but also about setting up and using new devices that you gift or receive this Christmas, and making sure young people are socialising and navigating safely online.

Take 5 - To Stop Fraud regularly post useful information on their website and social media.

Partners in the Spotlight: The Bobby Scheme

Bobby Scheme logo

Perri Selwood, Trust Manager of The Bobby Scheme, explains their remit and how residents benefit from their services:

"The Bobby Scheme is a small local charity established by The Cambridgeshire Police Shrievalty Trust. The aim of the charity is to keep older and vulnerable people safe in their own homes by improving their home security and reducing crime and the fear of crime.

The scheme has 4 staff members including 2 Bobby Security Advisors who visit victims of crime in the home aged 60 years or older and domestic abuse victims. The Bobbies, as they are known, improve security by installing devices such as door chains, window alarms, locks, bolts, external mailboxes, spy holes, video doorbells, driveway alarms and solar lighting. The Bobbies' knowledge of other services available locally enables them to offer further assistance as well as offering advice and guidance to give confidence and reassurance. This service is free and works on a referral-based system.

For people who have not been the victim of crime but who are either aged 65 or over, are disabled or vulnerable or who feel at risk of becoming a victim, we can offer a pro-active visit, aimed at reducing fear of crime and providing peace of mind. The service provided is the same as for victims but a contribution of £50 towards the £150 average cost of a visit is required.

The Bobby Scheme can also supply and fit key safes, allowing carers to gain access to residents who wish to stay in their own homes and live independently. These can be supplied and fitted for £65.

All devices installed by The Bobby Scheme are 'Secure by Design' products and have Police accreditation.

To find out more about The Bobby Scheme or to make a donation to help us to continue providing free support for victims please visit".

Cultivate Grant Funding

Cambridgeshire County Council is pleased to announce that the next deadline for ‘Cultivate’ grant applications is 1st February (£2,000-£15,000 for projects that build community support networks for vulnerable people). 

The aim of the fund is to support initiatives that strengthen communities and reduce pressure on County Council services, thereby giving a return on investment. Council services that are inviting applications are adult social care and children’s services. 

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations based in and outside of Cambridgeshire, and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire. Please note that projects serving Peterborough residents are not eligible.

Pre-application advice

It is strongly advised that organisations seek pre-application advice on their project ideas before submitting an application.  Bookings are now open for telephone advice appointments on Thursday 10th December between 9:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm – 3:00pm. These 15 minute 1:1 appointments are available on a first come first served basis. Please book here.

Cultivate Project Ideas

Inspiration and guidance on how to apply for a start-up grant for seven different relevant projects including Men's Sheds, Timebanks and Mobile Warden Schemes can be found here

Applications and further information about fund priorities and criteria may be found on the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF) website.

One last thing...

Merry Christmas Everyone

Do please sing and dance along! (Provided that you adhere to the government's suggested principles of safer singing).

Have fun! 

New Supporters

It's been another fantastic month for new supporters with our numbers swelling to a whopping 97!

Cllr Lis Every

Cllr Lis Every

This month we offer a warm welcome to:

  • Soham Radio
  • Soham branch of The Royal British Legion
  • The Royal British Legion Cambridgeshire County
  • Yaxley Parish Council
  • Cllr Sarah Wilson (Huntingdonshire District and Godmanchester Town Councils)
  • Cllr Lis Every (Cambridgeshire County, East Cambs District and City of Ely Councils)

These new supporters have gotten off to a flying start in spreading scams awareness. Cllr Wilson and Yaxley Parish Council immediately began  posting scams awareness information on their Facebook pages and Soham Royal British Legion were quick off the mark to add a strapline declaring their support for CAPASP in all their newsletters and in their e-mail signature. Wonderful! Thank you!

Read on to find out about how Soham Radio are giving their support to the partnership.

Can you help our supporter numbers reach three figures by Christmas? Let your community contacts know how great it is to be involved! 

Melanie on the Airwaves!

Melanie Wicklen

Melanie Wicklen, Age UK

This month it was Melanie Wicklen (Chief Executive of Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough)'s, turn to join Jeremy Sallis on his BBC Radio Cambridgeshire programme focusing on finance. Listen to Melanie's excellent advice here (from 2:51).

Ray Bisby, Acting Police and Crime Commissioner, will be representing CAPASP on Jeremy's show next month. Please listen out for Ray's interview on Tuesday 5th January - expected to take place at 12.45pm.

If you missed Charlotte Homent (or should that be Ho Ho Homent?!)'s interview last month it is still available for a few more days here (from 2:48).

Scams Awareness on Soham Radio

You may remember one of our amazing supporters, Anwar Khan, invited us to record some scams awareness advice for Soham Radio. Well, recording of six 'podcasts' took place last month and the broadcasting of these has now got underway. The first two have already been aired but there are four more you can listen out for in the coming weeks on Wednesday 'Touchpoint' programmes broadcasting at 10am - 12pm and repeated again at 8pm:

2nd Dec: Telephone scams

9th Dec: Internet scams

16th Dec: Doorstep scams

23rd Dec: Romance scams

You can listen to Soham Radio by visiting and clicking 'listen now'.

Don't worry about missing the first two broadcasts; we'll be making these available online shortly.

New Cyber Training for Staff

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has produced a new e-learning training package: 'Stay Safe Online: Top Tips for Staff'. It’s totally free, easy-to-use and takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

The training introduces why cyber security is important and how attacks happen, and then covers four key areas:

  • Defending yourself against phishing
  • Using strong passwords
  • Securing your devices
  • Reporting incidents

The training is primarily aimed at SMEs, charities and the voluntary sector, but can be applied to any organisation regardless of size or sector. It's been deliberately designed for a non-technical audience (who may have little or no knowledge of cyber security), with tips that complement any existing policies and procedures.

Free Sample Scams

Ever been tempted by a pop-up ad or social media post offering a free sample or trial of something just for the cost of postage and packaging? Typically these may be weight loss supplements and cosmetic products.

As our friends at Saga explain here, beware providing card details to these alluring offers - soon after the postage and packaging payment is taken a hefty debit often follows  from your account as a monthly subscription which can be tricky to get out of. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Happy Birthday to us!

Monday 14th December is our Against Scams Partnership's 2nd birthday!

Whilst current guidelines don't allow us to celebrate with a merry conga we thought we'd share a little light humoured video that attendees were treated to at our launch event two years ago. Enjoy!