Daily Safeguarding Update admin2021-09-30T10:26:34+00:00September 29th, 2021| Social media firms serve as gateway for scammers The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warns that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram serve as a gateway for fraudsters. While the FCA has praised Google for its change in terms for financial advertisements, other social media firms are lagging. The Home Office has estimated that social media firms and search engines help facilitate approximately 86% of all fraud in the UK. Online fraud has spiked in the pandemic, with scammers obtaining £4m a day from UK consumers in the first half of the year, according to the UK Finance group. The coalition of banking and tech companies have launched an emergency helpline directly to bank’s fraud prevention service. For more information on other types of scams, check out our blog posts on common COVID-19 scams and ‘whaling’. Full story, here. Child abuse study reveals links to long-term onset of mental disorders Children who have been maltreated are still at risk of developing mental health disorders up to 70 years after the abuse has happened. Research by the University of Glasgow with more than 56,000 participants found a clear link between abuse and psychological problems later in life. This was found even among those not diagnosed with disorders in early adulthood. Findings included that those who experienced three or more forms of abuse in childhood had the highest risk of all mental health conditions. Emotional abuse and neglect had stronger associations with all mental disorders, followed by sexual and physical abuse. The full article published in The Lancet can be found here. Full story, here. Sexual harassment in schools and pressure for ‘nudes’ Police are investigating allegations of sexual assault among classmates after more than 90 schools in Wales were named on the Everyone’s Invited website. The website was launched to help victims and survivors anonymously report abuse and harassment. Girls as young as 11 experienced pressure to send nudes or had received unwanted explicit images from boys. North Wales Police announced that it was investigating two cases linked to testimony on the website. School inspections by Estyn are due to begin to investigate peer-on-peer sexual harassment. Figures from the NSPCC show there were more than 300 offences involving sexual communications with children in Wales between April 2020 and March 2021. Full story, here. Schools warned about fake COVID-19 vaccine consent form An NHS England medical director has issued a warning about fake COVID-19 vaccine letters being sent to schools for distribution to parents. Some headteachers across England have also reported being targeted by letters including a “consent checklist”, using a fake NHS logo, to share with students. The letters include a long list of claims about the vaccine including adverse effects. Earlier in September, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) addressed that some schools received letters and emails with misinformation about the vaccine. This follows the circulation of a letter threatening headteachers with legal action over the COVID-19 vaccine programme and reports of anti-vaccination protests. Official guidance remains that headteachers should contact the police if anti-vaccine protests are held outside their school. Full story, here.