ScamwiseNI and Libraries NI help first-time internet users to avoid scams

Libraries NI has announced its commitment to a scams protection initiative, designed to empower adults learning computer and internet skills for the first time to stay safe from scams and know how to report them.

The ‘Scamwise Champion’ scheme is an initiative that was initially developed by ScamwiseNI in conjunction with youth organisations. It has been adapted by Libraries NI for use by their adult IT learners, with a number of challenges to be completed.

Paul Kelly, Senior Information and Learning Services Manager for Libraries NI, said: “We are proud to work with the ScamwiseNI Partnership to teach adults using computers and the internet for the first time about identifying and avoiding scams.

“We are aiming to help a new audience through the Scamwise Champion scheme to become more confident and capable by developing new skills. The skills and knowledge learned through the scheme are transferrable to other family members and friends, and we hope that this promotes the message further within communities across Northern Ireland.”

Superintendent Gerard Pollock, Chair of the ScamwiseNI Partnership, said: “Following on from the success of the ScamwiseNI Champion scheme with youth organisations, we are delighted to reach a new demographic thanks to working partnership with Libraries NI.  This is providing us with an opportunity to reach another important audience and the bespoke resources are helping us to educate new online users of the risks of scams in an engaging way.

“The scheme has a number of creative and imaginative challenges which can be completed at home, which is great news for the participants due to the impact of COVID-19. The Scamwise Champion scheme is a wonderful opportunity for people in Northern Ireland to learn about the different types of scams and how to avoid them.”

Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council, said: “Our research shows that less than half of the Northern Ireland population know where to report a scam, which is concerning as 40% of the population has been targeted by a scam in the last three years. We welcome Libraries NI’s commitment to the Scamwise Champion initiative so that adult learners are empowered to stay safe from scams and will know how to report them.

“Due to COVID-19 many of us are relying on the internet more to stay in touch with loved ones or carry out online shopping. A large number of scams are happening online and Northern Ireland has the lowest levels of digital literacy in the UK. Therefore, it is important to educate new online users how to spot and report a scam, as they may be more vulnerable to scams while navigating the internet for the first time.”

“The Consumer Council was delighted to develop the resource booklet, and we look forward to Libraries NI’s programme participants undertaking the various activities that we have created.”

To avail of the Scamwise Champion course, telephone or call in to your local library and ask for a copy of the free resources. 

For more information about the ScamwiseNI Partnership and how to protect yourself from scams, visit their website (www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/scamwiseni) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/scamwiseni).

Last updated 2 months ago