Sep 1, 2016
RAND Europe was commissioned by National Trading Standards (NTS) to undertake an independent review of the Scams Team to help inform its future development, delivery and effectiveness. The review included an assessment of the Scams Team in its current form, recommendations for service improvements and future provision in the context of the Consumer Landscape Reforms and recommendations for existing measures and measure of consumer detriment.
The National Trading Standards Scams Team established in 2012, initially as a pilot, is hosted by East Sussex County Council Trading Standards. It was developed out of a desire to deal more effectively with Mass Mail Fraud (MMF) on a local, regional and national level, and to support victims. The Scams Team's activities are guided by five objectives. These are:
RAND Europe was commissioned by National Trading Standards (NTS) to undertake an independent review of the Scams Team to help inform its future development, delivery and effectiveness. The review will include:
The project team will use four main sources to carry out the review:
There is clear evidence that the work of the Team helps to identify previously unidentified victims, and through interventions with local TSS reduces the impact of MMF on them. The Scams Team's work has helped to establish levels of consumer detriment as well as prevent future detriment.
The team appears to add value in a number of ways. Its national position appears to have: enabled a coordinated approach to the MMF problem across the country; brought economies of scale by avoiding the need for local TSS to develop their own understanding, etc.; concentrated multi-disciplinary expertise in one place; been a single focal point for relations with key national partners; and introduced innovative approaches and pilot projects.
Based on the evidence available, the Scams Team appears to be delivering significant added value which is securing beneficial outcomes which could not, and would not, be secured in its absence. We estimate the 'value for money' provided by the Team of £27 saved per £1 invested. If we only include returned savings (i.e. those that the Team is able to identify with a high degree of precision), we get £12 saved per £1 over the three years.
The role and organisation of the Scams Team
Impact of the Scams Team
Working with partners
Measuring consumer detriment and savings
Value for money assessment
Survey of local Trading Standards Services