BeaT the SCAMers

by David Black working at DBFUK responding to Cross-cutting challenge areas

I am interested in exploring

Me and my senior citizen neighbours are repeatedly targeted by scammers, via telephone calls but also via post. The previously state run telephone provider seems unable or unwilling to assist in any substantive way despite our repeated attempts to highlight the issue. The schemes they provide to assist with dealing with these calls seem piecemeal and half hearted and do not work for us whatsoever. I'm interested in developing both tech and non tech strategies for taking the scammers on and beating. I recall an incident where we have had to involve the police in assisting an elderly neighbour who was very close to being taken. Another neighbour, who is certainly not ignorant to how these scams work, was recently taken in and had her computer hijacked. The result of these attacks has made some of these senior citizens afraid to use technology such as the internet or purchase from online providers and as a result do not always get the best deals they should. Lets try to beat the scammers!

My motivation is

I keep an eye on my senior citizen neighbours who helped me care for my mother during the early stages of her dementia and subsequently in her transition into a care home where she is now receiving 24 hour nursing care, having lost capacity. They are around 80 plus in age and have lived in our neighbourhood for years (some over 50 years). I do a lot to support them, as, because we live on a private estate, a lot of the assistance afforded to less fortunate areas seems to no longer be available to these working class folks. They are not millionaires by any stretch of the imagination, but because they have worked hard and have tried not to be a burden to society they now appear not to be entitled to many areas of support. The issue of scammers targeting citizens is on my mind on a daily basis due to calls my neighbours seem to get at increasing frequency. This is important as it impacts on both how they view wider society and health and wellbeing, by creating undue stress and worry.

Project focus

I want to focus on:

  • Enablement & Radical Trust
  • Accountability & Care
  • Proactive Resilience and Reparation


I am looking for an academic partner in:

  • Data science & engineering
  • Social science (e.g. geography, politics, sociology)
  • Law
  • Design
  • Computer science and HCI
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Planning & architecture
  • Arts and Humanities

I am looking for a partner in these sectors:

  • Public Sector
  • Industry / SMEs
  • Third Sector

I am looking to work in these areas:

  • Education
  • Health (including medical/clinical work)
  • Social care
  • Finance & Labour market (including banking, gig economy)
  • Policing
  • Planning & housing
  • Older adults
  • Charity
  • Cyber Security
  • Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning
  • Arts & creative industry
  • Web design and digital innovation
  • Refugees
  • Food & agriculture
  • Families

Sandpit events

I am going to: Newcastle, February 27th 2020


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