Social media firms serve as gateway for scammers

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warns that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram serve as a gateway for fraudsters.
  • While the FCA has praised Google for its change in terms for financial advertisements, other social media firms are lagging.
  • The Home Office has estimated that social media firms and search engines help facilitate approximately 86% of all fraud in the UK.
  • Online fraud has spiked in the pandemic, with scammers obtaining £4m a day from UK consumers in the first half of the year, according to the UK Finance group.
  • The coalition of banking and tech companies have launched an emergency helpline directly to bank’s fraud prevention service.
  • For more information on other types of scams, check out our blog posts on common COVID-19 scams and ‘whaling’.
  • Full story, here.


Child abuse study reveals links to long-term onset of mental disorders

  • Children who have been maltreated are still at risk of developing mental health disorders up to 70 years after the abuse has happened.
  • Research by the University of Glasgow with more than 56,000 participants found a clear link between abuse and psychological problems later in life.
  • This was found even among those not diagnosed with disorders in early adulthood.
  • Findings included that those who experienced three or more forms of abuse in childhood had the highest risk of all mental health conditions.
  • Emotional abuse and neglect had stronger associations with all mental disorders, followed by sexual and physical abuse.
  • The full article published in The Lancet can be found here.
  • Full story, here.

Sexual harassment in schools and pressure for ‘nudes’

  • Police are investigating allegations of sexual assault among classmates after more than 90 schools in Wales were named on the Everyone’s Invited website.
  • The website was launched to help victims and survivors anonymously report abuse and harassment.
  • Girls as young as 11 experienced pressure to send nudes or had received unwanted explicit images from boys.
  • North Wales Police announced that it was investigating two cases linked to testimony on the website.
  • School inspections by Estyn are due to begin to investigate peer-on-peer sexual harassment.
  • Figures from the NSPCC show there were more than 300 offences involving sexual communications with children in Wales between April 2020 and March 2021.
  • Full story, here.

Schools warned about fake COVID-19 vaccine consent form

  • An NHS England medical director has issued a warning about fake COVID-19 vaccine letters being sent to schools for distribution to parents.
  • Some headteachers across England have also reported being targeted by letters including a “consent checklist”, using a fake NHS logo, to share with students.
  • The letters include a long list of claims about the vaccine including adverse effects.
  • Earlier in September, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) addressed that some schools received letters and emails with misinformation about the vaccine.
  • This follows the circulation of a letter threatening headteachers with legal action over the COVID-19 vaccine programme and reports of anti-vaccination protests.
  • Official guidance remains that headteachers should contact the police if anti-vaccine protests are held outside their school.
  • Full story, here.