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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults from Financial Scamming

18th November 2015

On 10th November the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work hosted an event on ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults from Financial Scamming’ as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The event was attended by over 70 people, representing UK agencies including from the police, trading standards, social services, and the private and voluntary sectors. The event represented an opportunity to share good practice and discuss some of the issues facing practitioners who work to safeguard the most vulnerable in society from financial scams.

Four speakers presented different aspects of the issue  which included Louise Baxter from the National Scams Team, Sean Olivier and Trish Burls from Croydon Council, Phil Mawhinney from Age UK and Rebecca Rogers from Bournemouth University Cyber Security Unit.

Following these key presentations discussion groups considered the following issues:

What are the challenges of safeguarding vulnerable adults from scams?

Discussion highlighted:

  • Lack of awareness for front-line staff concerning financial scams.
  • The need to develop understanding of the role of different agencies and to develop mechanisms for sharing data/information.
  • The need for early identification of scams.
  • Identifying factors which increase vulnerability to scams, including the impact of loneliness and isolation.
  • Understanding mental capacity and the impact this might have on vulnerability to scams.
  • Resource constraints.
 What are the solutions we can offer?

Discussion highlighted:

  • Improved training for front line professionals.
  • Raising public awareness of scams and preventative measures and this may include improved community engagement.
  • Improved sharing resources and information between agencies.
  • International co-operation and learning.
  • Changing policies of financial institutions/ Making changes in legislation/law.
  • Overcoming social isolation of vulnerable older people/community engagement.
  • Early intervention with victims including earlier interception of scams.
  • NCPP Bournemouth University
    Professor Lee-Ann Fenge
    Director of the Centre of Seldom Heard Voices, Marginalisation and Societal Integration / Research Lead for the NCPQSWPP

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