SAS Barkingside: Bank and bobbies hold scam avoidance school after spate of residents getting conned

Get clued up against con artists at SAS Barkingside. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano

Get clued up against con artists at SAS Barkingside. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano

Following a spate of residents getting conned out of their cash in the borough, a bank has teamed up with police to run a scam avoidance school (SAS).

The scheme comes after an 82-year-old grandfather was scammed out of hundreds of pound by people posing as Sainsbury's employees in Barkingside, and a woman was tricked out of money by a fake traffic warden in South Woodford.

The sessions will be held at Santander, High Street, Barkingside, on Thursday, July 18, and a spokesman said the event will teach members of the public tricks and tips for not getting caught out by con artists.

"Anyone can be vulnerable to falling victim to fraudsters and scammers, and we believe that education and public awareness is absolutely key to tackling what is currently one of the biggest threats to the security of people's finances," he said.

"Santander's SAS has been developed to address the fact that more needs to be done to help educate people on the tricks scammers use to reel people in."

The bank warned that residents should not automatically trust those in authority and if the situation is unexpected always think twice.

"Be aware of any cold-callers [or people that stop you in the street], they might say they're from your bank, HMRC, a telecoms company or even the police, and they can sound very professional and official, but contact out of the blue should immediately put you on your guard," the spokesman added.

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"Think about what you're being asked to do - is the person you're speaking to asking you to transfer any money, to allow access to your computer or to give away personal information?

"This should immediately ring alarm bells.

"Don't take things on face value, sophisticated scammers can make text messages or phone calls appear as though they have genuinely come from your bank. Take five to contact your bank yourself and double check that they are genuine."

SAS will run between 9am and 11am.

For more information about scam school, visit or pop into your local branch.