Force supports vulnerable Canterbury residents with fraud advice
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Keeping people safe from fraudsters was the topic of discussion at a talk in Canterbury.
On Wednesday 22 March 2023, Emma Swietochowski-Hay, Kent Police’s Fraud Prevention Co-ordinator, spoke to residents in the Therapy Centre at Pilgrims Hospice to help raise awareness of the different types of scams that exist and how to avoid becoming a victim.
The session included an array of advice, for example taking the time to stop and think before parting with your money, not being afraid to challenge someone to ensure they are who they say they are and refusing requests for personal information. They also discussed what people should do if they find themselves a victim of a scam including contacting your bank straight away.
Looking out for the vulnerable
Emma previously worked as a Police Community Support Officer in Ashford and is passionate about using her experience of dealing with local crime to help further support the community and prevent offences from taking place. She understands the importance of offering extra support to the elderly and other vulnerable people.
Emma said: ‘Talking about fraud at community groups and businesses is a very important role to ensure those most vulnerable in our society stay safe from harm.
I want to remind people of the risks of fraud and encourage them to make sensible choices when being approached by criminals, and most importantly make sure they know how to report incidents to us, as and when they happen.
We certainly don’t want people to feel embarrassed if they have been conned out of money because criminals can be very persuasive.’
The talk was well received by those who attended and it created a lot of discussion around the types of scams to look out for. It was also a good opportunity to ensure members of the public know who to contact for advice and how to report a crime.
The wellbeing practitioners from Pilgrims Hospice who organised the event said they put on a lot of educational activities for patients and their carers to help regain their identities following their illnesses. The Therapy Centre is a safe space where they feel comfortable and so linking in with Kent Police to ensure their ongoing safety is really important to them.