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Published today (04 May 2020) Scams: the power of persuasive language will help any professionals supporting people who have been, or may be targeted by a scam.
Written by Professor Keith Brown from the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice (NCPQSW) and Dr Elisabeth Carter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Forensic Linguist at the University of Roehampton, this publication shows how criminals use language in subtle and powerful ways to scam people out of money. It highlights how, far from the popular idea of the gullible or vulnerable person ‘falling for’ a scam, the reality is that scammers are highly skilled manipulators of language who use techniques designed to make people feel at ease and disguise any cause for concern.
This booklet will show some of the ways in which scammers use the reassurance of familiarity, our normal instincts to protect, and isolation from support to draw people in and justify their behaviour. They exploit all types of situations, including panic, uncertainty and isolation relating to COVID-19. They then manoeuvre individuals into positions where they believe they are making reasonable choices but are in fact being scammed. This guidance is key reading for all community health, social care workers, domiciliary care staff, and individuals who have family or friends who are isolating alone to help identify and prevent scams in society.
Please share this widely and encourage others to get a copy.