ScamwiseNI partners combine efforts to reduce financial crime in Northern Ireland
ScamwiseNI Partnership organisations are working together to educate consumers and businesses on legislation that is in place to help safeguard them and their money, protecting them from scams and financial crime.
The campaign, which launched this month, aims to raise awareness on the Banking Protocol legislation – a UK-wide initiative through which branch staff in financial institutions may enquire about financial transactions such as deposits, cash withdrawals or payment transfers, with the aim of protecting customers and staying up to date with expected transactions on their accounts. To help raise awareness videos are being played in financial institutions across NI, there is a dedicated website and social media content, as well as printed flyers that customers can take home explaining the protocol, and why these organisations need to know this information.
Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of The Consumer Council, said: “Everyone should feel safe and protected when it comes to personal finances but sadly there are occasions where consumers fall victim to financial crime. We are pleased to have worked in partnership with various organisations on this campaign as it allows us to raise awareness of the measures that are in place to protect them from fraud. Consumer vulnerability is a growing issue in Northern Ireland and it is through working together than we can continue to educate and empower consumers.
Chair of the ScamwiseNI Partnership, Superintendent Gerard Pollock, said: “One of our strengths as a partnership is the work we can do together to protect and educate the public. This campaign is just one example, bringing together financial institutions, law enforcement and the Consumer Council to work in partnership, raise awareness and protect consumers from financial crime. It’s important for consumers to understand what steps they can take to protect their money and what procedures and initiatives we have in place for safeguarding.”
Vicky Davies, Chief Executive of Danske Bank, said: “This campaign raises an important issue for Danske Bank and we hope it helps to educate consumers about this legislation, how it protects their accounts and why we might need to ask our customers for more information on their accounts or transactions as part of it. Consumer protection is a key focus area for us, and we value being able to work together with the ScamwiseNI Partnership and the Consumer Council to help raise awareness of financial crime.”
Regardless of where consumers and businesses complete financial transactions Danske Bank, Progressive Building Society, Credit Union and Post Office staff are there to help consumers if they have any worries or concerns. Consumers and businesses can report financial crime to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or the PSNI on 101.
For more information about the ScamwiseNI Partnership and how to protect yourself from scams, visit its website (www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/scamwiseni) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/scamwiseni).