Help at hand for 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.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 9:25 am

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: “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.”

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Noyona Chundur, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council, said: “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.”

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).