A conference to highlight the financial abuse of adults at risk is to be held at Villa Park in Birmingham next week (27 September), organised by Central England Trading Standards Authorities (CEnTSA).
The conference, which takes place on Tuesday 27 September, will look at the role that Trading Standards can play within a multi-agency approach to safeguarding people at risk from financial abuse.
Organised by CEnTSA, the event brings together 14 local authorities from across the West Midlands.
Bob Charnley, CEnTSA chairman, said: “Financial abuse is a growing area of concern for Trading Standards. We are seeing more victims of scams and, more worryingly, an increase in vulnerable people who have been victims of financial abuse by those they trust most.”
Earlier this year, a small group of traders hit the region, targeting mostly elderly consumers living in remote rural locations for driveway repairs. In a 12 month period, operating across the country, they are believed to have amassed at least £750,000 by carrying out expensive, rushed and ineffective work.
Trading Standards are aware of at least one individual, an elderly gentleman in his 90’s, who has lost, it is estimated, in excess of £150,000 to various scams.
Mr Charnley, who is also Trading Standards Manager at Sandwell Council, said he was hoping that the conference would highlight ways in which Trading Standards can work with other agencies to safeguard the vulnerable from financial abuse.
Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of Birmingham City Council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to protect their vulnerable residents from financial abuse, and Trading Standards plays a vital role in protecting vulnerable adults in our community.
“This conference provides an opportunity for colleagues across the Midlands to share good practice. I hope this will improve the understanding of what that role is and improve co-operation between local and regional agencies.”
Including the impact of financial loss on the elderly and vulnerable, examples of how adults at risk have been victims of crime and the effect of failing mental health on people’s lives and their financial status.
Delegates will also be able to find out more about what national organisations are doing to raise awareness of, and fight, financial abuse. A range of organisations who contribute to the Scam and Doorstep Crime agenda will also be there providing delegates with the opportunity to network.
Notes for editors
1. Reporters can attend the event on the day and interviews can be arranged with prior notice, please contact Nick Harrison on 07795 236 848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Speakers at the conference :
- Paul McKay – How Nottingham Trading Standards have incorporated the MASH approach
- Professor Keith Brown – The impact of financial abuse on the elderly and vulnerable
- Louise Baxter – A national perspective, what the Scams Hub does to support LAs and the sale of marketing data
- CTSI Lead – Summary of the national Doorstep Crime report
- Gerry Wintrip – Examples of where adults at risk have been the victims of crime
- Coventry Building Society – What the society does to protect vulnerable customers
- Dr Peter Jeffries – The vulnerability of adults at risk, the effect of failing mental health and how it affects their susceptibility of failing health
- Chris King – Case Study of Adult Safeguarding process
- Kathryn Wood – Practical example of how LA’s support victims of financial abuse
3. Scams: Facts and figures
- 48% of people in the UK have been targeted by a scam
- 3.2m people fall victim every year
- £3.5bn is lost to scammers every year
- Victims lose an average of £1,261
- In 2015/16 Action Fraud reported a 37% increase in fraud