14th March 2016
A recent awareness raising event at the House of Commons, hosted by Conor Burns MP, discussed the problem of financial scamming and mass marketing fraud in the UK and highlighted the work being undertaken by the NCPQSW at Bournemouth University.
The event included an address from Bournemouth University’s Professor Keith Brown, and explored some of the work of the NCPQSW around financial scam prevention and at risk groups. Bournemouth University, in partnership with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, National Trading Standards Scams Team, North Yorkshire Trading Standards, and City of London Trading Standards, has created a Financial Scamming Guide to offer advice and guidance on what to watch for and how to avoid falling foul of scamming techniques and schemes.
This guide includes a campaign to raise awareness of the risks of financial scamming, as well as calling for a more integrated approach to tackling the issues from the financial sectors. In particular the campaign asks that …..
- All agencies, especially financial institutions, should:
- Recognise that consumers/clients with dementia are by definition more at risk of being scammed. Therefore measures to protect this population group are required as part of a ‘duty to care, and those with a diagnosis of dementia have by definition a cognitive impairment which means that their potential ‘unwise decision’ is a result of their cognitive state rather than simply an unwise decision.
- All organisations that hold personal data should:
- Only share or pass on personal details to other organisations via a clear ‘opt in’ as opposed to an ‘opt out’ process. Data should only be allowed for a maximum of 12 months before permission needs to be sought again.
- Recognise that the normal default position should be that charities do not share, pass on or sell personal details to help prevent ‘Suckers Lists’. The exception being to report a safeguarding concern to statutory agencies where there is a suspicion that the person(s) is/are at risk of harm or scamming and this information should be used in accordance to The Care Act (2014).
- Citizens who feel at risk of financial scamming should be able to:
- Formally notify their bank/building society stating that they feel at risk, requesting that all transactions above a defined threshold (say £1,000) have a 24 hour delay before being processed.
- At the start of the 24 hour delay period, an email/text alert is automatically sent to the customer’s nominated representative (relative/friend) stating that the customer is attempting to make a large transaction. This will give the opportunity for the proposed transaction to be challenged with a view to potentially stop it leaving consumers account.