By Matthew Roscoe • 30 September 2020 • 13:49
Two poets have been inspired to write some poetry together to raise awareness of investment scammers as they turn financial crime into rhyme.
ACCORDING to a report by banking group Santander, 75% of investment fraud involves people over the age of 55 with many of them losing an average of £8,000 each.
The horrifying statistics has inspired Pam Ayres; MBE poet, comedian, songwriter and presenter of radio and television programmes, and performance poet Suli Breaks, to team up in order to highlight the dangers of investment scams.
The collaboration between the two pair is part of a scheme launched by Santander to help the public spot the signs of investment scams.
The poetry book called “Scam Sonnets” has been released in time for National Poetry Day, which is tomorrow, October 1.
Scam Sonnets includes; Pam Ayres’ “Have You Got Some Money?” and Suli Breaks’ “Too Good To Be True” which have incorporated words and phrases from real telephone calls received by investment scam victims, scam emails that have been sent and online adverts.
Pam Ayres spoke about her involvement in the awareness project: “Fraudsters target and dupe their victims with their clever use of language – professional, confident and reassuring communications that draw you in and make you feel in complete control.
“Sadly, the reality is far from it. That’s why, ahead of National Poetry Day, I’ve partnered with Santander to use the language of the scammers to help the public spot the signs of a scam and protect themselves from the devastating effect of investment fraud.”
The over 55s are the most common target for investment scammers as they are preparing for retirement and want to get the most out of their savings and pensions.
The most common approaches by scammers are: email (71%), followed by 40% who receive unsolicited phone calls and according to Santader’s research, Brits over the age of 55 are likely to be contacted at least once a week by financial conmen.
Speaking about his involvement in the awareness project, Suli Breaks said: “You think you’ll never be the victim of an investment scam, but it really can happen to anyone.
“Aspirational social media posts, the clever use of celebrity and the promise of a ‘now or never’ opportunity all exist to make a scam appear real and push you to take advantage of their ‘amazing returns’ – but we all need to watch out for each other, and remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is…”
Santander’s Scam Sonnets by Pam Ayres and Suli Breaks can be watched in full on YouTube here.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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