Examples of financial abuse can include:
- theft of money, personal possessions, insurance
- removal or control of a person's finances without their knowledge or permission
- pressure exerted in terms of wills, property and inheritance
- pressure exerted in terms of financial transactions
Possible signs of financial abuse are:
- sudden inability to pay for household shopping or bills
- unexplained withdrawals of large amount of money
- personal possessions going missing from the persons home
- living conditions appear poor in comparison to the income of the person
- unusual amount of interest from a family member, friend, carer, neighbour, stranger or salesperson into the assets of the adults
Scams are a huge issue affecting so many people of all ages and backgrounds.
In partnership with Derbyshire’s Financial Abuse Working Group, we have produced a podcast about scams. We'd like to thank Angela Lobley, Tracey Allen and James Land for their contributions.
The podcast includes an account from an adult in Derbyshire who was scammed but with the support of Derbyshire Scam Watch, there was a positive outcome.
The podcast was recorded under COVID-19 restrictions, with the presenters unable to meet face-to-face, so we’d ask for your understanding about the quality of the recording in parts. However, we hope you’ll still find the podcast informative and helpful.
Keep up-to-date about scams by following Derbyshire Scam Watch on Facebook and the Derbyshire Police Fraud Team on Twitter.
Derbyshire Digital MOT
Phones, computers and tablets are part of everyday life for online banking, shopping, emails and social media. The longer you spend online, the more risks you are exposed to. The digital MOT is a cyber security assessment tool that has been developed by the community safety unit at Derbyshire County Council in partnership with the cybercrime unit at Derbyshire Police. It will take less than 5 minutes to complete the MOT and find out how to be safer online.
Scams targeting students
Students should be aware of the many scams aimed specifically at them. For example, unsolicited contact that asks for sensitive information or money.
Scammers will often claim to be from legitimate organisations and authorities such as a university, bank or the police. If an organisation contacts you without prompting, never provide sensitive information or money.
To help raise awareness amongst students about how to protect themselves against scams and what they should look out for, we have produced a leaflet, which is attached to this page.
DSAB Financial Abuse Working Group
The DSAB Financial Abuse Working Group is a multi-agency group of professionals who meet twice a year to share information, raise awareness of initiatives, plan events and develop resources for both the public and professionals in relation to all aspects of financial abuse. This includes different types of scams, familial abuse, cybercrime and fraud.
There is representation on the group from a wide variety of organisations including:
- Derbyshire County Council adult social care and health
- Age UK
- P3 Charity
- Chesterfield Royal Hospital
- Trading standards
- Derbyshire Community Health Services
- Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group
- Derbyshire Police
- Diocese of Derby
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Police and Crime Commissioner
- Derbyshire Voluntary Action
- Community Safety
- Alzheimer's Society
The group's strategy plan and action plan are attached to this page.
The following resources have been put together by the trading standards team to assist professionals in supporting and signposting services to people who may be at risk of, or experiencing, financial abuse:
- Age UK has varied information and advice about spotting and avoiding the latest scams targeting your money.The 'Only the tip of the iceberg' evidence review report produced by them is attached to this page. The 'Age UK - Avoiding Scamming' leaflet is attached to this page.
If you've found you needed to share the responsibility of managing your money and bills, you may have turned to a friend, relative or carer to help you. No matter who's helping you, you're in charge of making your decisions. Age UK have produced a guide called 'Looking after your money' (attached to this page) about how to protect your finances as far as possible, and what to do if things do go wrong.
- Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime. The 'Action Fraud - Reporting fraud and cybercrime' leaflet is attached to this page.
- Think Jessica is a registered charity making people aware of the danger and financial implications caused by postal and telephone scams, educating professionals and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from illegal practices. The 'Jessica - Watch out for scams' leaflet is designed for relatives and carers as well as victims themselves. It is available to order from Think Jessica.
- Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to 'Take a Stand Against Scams'.
- Derbyshire County Council has consumer advice to protect you from scams.
- Take Five is a national campaign to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud - particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. Led by Financial Fraud Action UK Ltd. (FFA UK).
- Fraud Advisor is used by banks, community groups and other agencies to raise awareness and help prevent vulnerable and elderly people from becoming victims. It can also provide a useful insight into these crimes for victims and their families.
- Derbyshire Victims Services.
- Derbyshire Scam Watch is a project funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire. It aims to raise awareness, particularly among older residents, of the potential harmful effects of mass-marketing, internet, doorstep and telephone scams and to provide one-to-one advice and support where potential scam or fraud victims are identified.
- Derbyshire Police have information about online fraud and cybercrime as well as other types of fraud.
- Sussex Police have videos aimed at visitors, relatives and professionals, about spotting the warning signs of fraud or scams on elderly or vulnerable people.
- Trusted Trader can help you find honest and reliable traders who commit to doing a good job for a fair price.
- Citizens Advice Bureau.
- The National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice at Bournemouth University have been working with key national organisations in the UK to develop a better understanding of this issue, seeking ways and solutions to reduce the risk of financial scamming.
- The Insolvency Service has published a series of videos called 'if only' based on true stories concerning financial abuse and scamming, find out how to spot the signs of common scams.
The Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) was founded in 1991 as a self-regulatory body to safeguard the public from unqualified practitioners and unethical business practices and has become established as the recognised professional body regulating and promoting the profession of willwriting in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- While scamming is a serious subject and can have profound effects on the lives of victims, we have included here a YouTube video called 'Scamming a Gumtree Scammer' by the comedian, Joe Lycett, which takes a light-hearted look at the subject and may be useful as part of a training package to highlight how easily people can be scammed.