Santander & British poets create ‘Scam Sonnets’ to raise awareness of investment fraud

By on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

British poets, Pam Ayres and Suli Breaks, have teamed up with financial services company, Santander, to highlight the dangers of investment scams by turning financial crimes into rhymes.

Santander challenged the two poets ahead of National Poetry Day on the 1st October, to create poems to help the public spot the signs of investment scams.

The poet’s ‘Scam Sonnets’ used the language of scammers as a way to raise awareness of Investment fraud. Pam Ayres’ Have you got some money? and Suli Breaks’ Too good to be true incorporate words and phrases from real scam emails, online adverts and telephone calls received by Santander customers.

Alongside the poems, Santander commissioned new research revealing that a quarter (25%) of Brits have been affected or know someone who has been affected by an investment scam – with £10,000 lost on average.

With investment scams on the rise, a total of £55.2 million was lost to investment scams in the UK in the first six months of 2020 – a 27% increase compared to the same period last year.

Poet and performer Pam Ayres says; “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 study also found scammers are increasingly relying on fake celebrity and influencer endorsements to convince people to invest, with 41% of Brits admitting they would feel more confident about an investment opportunity if they believed it was endorsed by a famous face.

Performance-poet Suli Breaks says; “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…”

Dan Standish, fraud strategy at Santander says; “Fraudsters are extremely clever, convincing and have taken the time to practice and hone their techniques. Their confidence, apparent expertise and friendly demeanour can all make a scam investment opportunity difficult to spot. That’s why, ahead of National Poetry Day, we’ve worked with two fantastic poets, Pam Ayres and Suli Breaks, to help bring these dangers to the front of the public’s mind in an engaging way. By using the language of the scammers, we aim to help the public spot the familiar words, phrases and signs of investment fraud early before it’s too late.”

For more advice about how to stay safe from financial fraud, visit: https://www.santander.co.uk/personal/support/fraud-and-security/spotting-fraud-or-scams

Agency: Taylor Herring

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