Cyber Scams and Financial Fraud at the House of Commons
9th October 2017
Right at the very beginning of our journey at NCPQSW… An experience that we won’t forget…. Our recent attendance at the House of Commons Financial Scamming Event
Stevie: As someone who was fresh out of university this June, I did not expect to be involved in such an amazing opportunity so early in my career. It was an experience that has inspired me to get involved in as many exciting opportunities like this in the future as I can.
Caroline: Having joined the research team as recently as August, it was a great way to get stuck into the role and see first-hand the amazing work that NCPQSW does.
So, we were provided with the opportunity to assist our colleagues with running and organising an event about Cyber Scams and Financial Fraud at the House of Commons this September. Of course, we snapped up the offer to attend without having a second thought, especially because we were both very aware of the importance and the prevalence of the topic at hand in current times.
In the days leading up the event, everyone was rushed off their feet in preparation of creating information packs, ensuring everyone had RSVP’d and sorting out nearly 100 name badges. We spent the morning of the event in London getting ourselves prepared, setting up and having a nice spot of lunch, which we found as new staff members to be a very beneficial team building experience and certainly helped to settle the nerves!
During the event, it was amazing to see first-hand the impact that Professor Keith Brown, Professor Lee-Ann Fenge, Dr Sally Lee and the rest of the NCPQSW research team is having and how wide spread the attendance was. It successfully brought together everyday citizens with members of parliament and other influential people, providing a platform for those with real-life scamming experience to be heard as well. We were surrounded by incredible members of the public, that spoke about their personal struggles with scams as well as influential individuals from many organisations, such as Which? and Trading Standards.
We felt fortunate to be able to listen to the key speakers, which included a representative from Age UK, a superintendent from the City of London and our very own Vice Chancellor Professor John Vinney. We also had the chance to hear from Conor Burns MP, who hosted the event. We certainly benefitted from listening to and getting involved in great conversations about protecting the vulnerable from scamming, as we moved around the room.
Despite some last minute technical glitches – and an archaic alarm bell that would not cease ringing in the middle of each speech – the event was a success.
After months of planning, we were so proud to see how it all came together. We felt honoured to be representing the NCPQSW team in such a wonderful setting, and are excited to find out about future events. We hope that there will be further opportunities to get involved with events like this, however The House of Commons will sure be a tough one to out do!
We used the whole day as an opportunity to really push the social media presence of NCPQSW, and we even created a hashtag: #BUScamsAware. Being in London was certainly a great opportunity to take photos for us post our Twitter account and keep our followers updated.
We shall leave you with some interesting facts to show the scale of financial scamming and how it is being tackled:
- 16 billion has been seized from criminals in the last 5 years.
- Since Nov 2016, 1,900,000 items of scam mail have been intercepted by Royal Mail.
- Call blockers like True Call can be used to help protect the most vulnerable.