One of UKs most prolific scammers attends ScamwiseNI event in Belfast

  • 12 November 2018

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The ScamwiseNI Partnership working in collaboration with Gumtree are hosting ‘The Psychology of Scamming’ event today, Monday 12th November in Belfast.

One of the UK’s most renowned scammers Tony Sales will be sharing his personal perspectives on the psyche of scammers and his journey from a convicted fraudster to a fighter of crime through his work with policing services and other agencies to prevent and highlight scams. 

The seminar will also hear from Gumtree’s Head of Communications, Fergus Campbell, about how they are working as an organisation to prevent scams and protect customers. 

Discussing the event Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said:  “Today’s event will give us a unique insight into the mindset of a scammer, some of the methods and techniques they use and the weaknesses they look for and exploit in potential victims.  It will also provide an opportunity to hear why they do what they do.

“As part of the Partnership’s campaign to raise awareness of scams, we have shared many victims stories so that the public can understand how scams can happen and how people can protect themselves. Today’s event shines the spotlight onto the activities of a scammer which we hope will increase public understanding of how ‘genuine’ and ‘plausible’ these people are.

 “Tony’s story shows us how easy it is for scammers to con. I would take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has been a victim of a scam to report it and remember, if you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”

Fergus Campbell, Head of Communications at Gumtree discusses why they have become involved in the ScamwiseNI Partnership:  “Over the last two years Gumtree has significantly stepped up its relationship with law enforcement, establishing closer ties with PSNI, National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, Trading Standards and Action Fraud. We collaborate closely with them by sharing intelligence and assisting with their investigations.

“Furthermore, we’ve invested substantially to make our platform a more hostile environment for criminals. Getting involved with ScamwiseNI Partnership is the logical next step for us in helping law enforcement in Northern Ireland stamp out scamming.”

The ScamwiseNI Partnership consists of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Department of Justice, Commissioner for Older Persons, Age Sector Platform the Consumer Council, Trading Standard and representatives from the retail and banking sector including Royal Mail and The Post Office. 

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