11th March 2019

Scam awareness advice for deaf community

ScamwiseNI partnership to deliver workshops across Northern Ireland

The ScamwiseNI partnership is working with the British Deaf Association of Northern Ireland to provide free workshops to help the Deaf community protect themselves against scams.

The events, which will be facilitated by The Consumer Council and the PSNI, will take place in Omagh (21 March) and Derry/Londonderry (27 March). The events will be fully interpreted by British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language interpreters. 

Dervla Kearney, Interim Director of Consumer Insight, Empowerment and Protection at The Consumer Council, said, “Our latest research shows that around a third of consumers in Northern Ireland (32%) have been targeted by a scam in the past 3 years, yet around half of consumers do not know where to report a scam. These workshops will enable members of the Deaf community to protect themselves from scams, and learn how to report them.” Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: “We greatly welcome the opportunity to work with the British Deaf Association of Northern Ireland to highlight scams.  This joined-up approach is a valuable step in promoting the ScamwiseNI Partnership, helping more members of the community to be on their guard and to be scam aware. Education is our best weapon in preventing people from becoming victims of scams.

"Fraudsters are creative and will do whatever they can to scam people out of money. They don’t care who their victim is, they just want the money and will employ whatever tactic is necessary. 

“I would encourage any victims of a fraud or a scam to speak out and report it.  Remember, if you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”

Holly Lane from the British Deaf Association of Northern Ireland said: “We commend the ScamwiseNI partnership for reaching out to the deaf community in Northern Ireland to share this important knowledge. This will provide the deaf community with better awareness of scams and where to report them, keeping us all safer. We look forward to working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and The Consumer Council to produce these important and informative events, without language barriers.”

Further advice and information can also be obtained by visiting www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni