The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Crime and Scamming, has this week launched a guide to fraud and scams at the Houses of Parliament. The reception, which was attended by various key figures from across politics, safeguarding, and healthcare, saw speeches made by those working with the APPG to fight fraud.
BU's Professor Keith Brown, National Research Lead on financial scamming, said: "We are delighted to be publishing this guide in collaboration with our partners. The guide is part of our extensive work in this field. It is essential that knowledge about the true impact of this crime becomes widely known and measures which aim to protect all citizens are strengthened."
He added: "The guide highlights progress made in raising awareness and alerts readers to those citizens at particular risk including lonely, socially isolated individuals and those in the early stages of cognitive decline whose capacity to make financial decisions is being compromised."
Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, who created the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming, said: "Fraud is not a victimless crime. It has a devastating impact on its victims and their families. That is why I was pleased to join the launch of this new report into fraud and scams and support the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming.
Minister for Security, Ben Wallace MP, who co-launched the guide, said: "I strongly believe that scamming is, I'm afraid, part of the growth in our crime. Some of this can be quite easily stopped by being aware, by asking yourselves to 'take five', a campaign which says stop and ask yourself five simple questions. Also, [it can be prevented] if we can get our alignment right with law enforcement agencies, investing in the right places, it can make a difference. I think if we put that together, we can make a hostile environment for these people.
"We've also got to look after the victim and I think that Dorset is one of the best forces for having a scheme looking after the victims. Some forces are much better than others, this usually depends on the Police and Crime Commissioner or Chief Constable. Attacking the scams is something that we have got to do, and recognising a growth in crime. We are investing in it, upstream and downstream, but events like this, and Conor's group, are all about raising personal and individual awareness because that is actually one of the best ways to see these people off."
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), who also worked to create the materials, handed out guides on push payment scams, a form of financial scamming it is working hard to mitigate. Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of PSR, said: "Authorised push payment scams can take their victims completely by surprise. The perpetrators of these crimes have developed many techniques to trick people into transferring life-changing amounts of money from their accounts.
Mike Haley, Chief Executive of collaborator and fraud prevention organisation, Cifas, said: I welcome this report and the work of the APPG on Financial Crime and Scamming. Fraud is the 21st century's volume crime and can affect anyone. For every fraud, there is a victim, and with more and more people sharing data, transacting, setting up businesses, dating and chatting online, this trend is only going to continue.
"I am pleased to launch this report and see so many organisations pulling together to help fight this crime."
To read more about how BU's National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work (NCPQSW) is working to combat fraud, visit: www.ncpqsw.com.