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Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) Environmental Health & Trading Standards (EHTS)

We are committed to protecting your personal data and ensuring that it is processed fairly and lawfully. Information you provide to us will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of Data Protection, Dudley MBC is the Data Controller.

Who we are and what we do

We are the Scams Unit, a small team of officers within the Trading Standards team, part of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards service. We are part of the Health and Wellbeing Service delivered within the People Directorate.

The Scams Unit’s role is to visit persons in the Dudley borough who may have responded to scams to prevent further financial loss and provide support and advice. Referrals to the service are predominantly received from the National Trading Standards Scams Team, hosted by Surrey County Council who provide details of potential and confirmed scam responders in the Dudley borough to Dudley Trading Standards to enable us to carry out law enforcement functions, prevent further crime and to safeguard individuals. Referrals are also received from partner organisations, including the police, DMBC Adult Safeguarding and the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). We also provide training on scams prevention for professionals and the wider community, e.g. the online “Friends Against Scams” training, Scams Champion training and attend a wide variety of events and roadshows to advise on scams prevention.

What type of personal information do we collect and how do we collect it?

The National Trading Standards Scams Team provide us with information on potential scam victims, via a secure portal called Compass, which includes:

  • The name
  • The address
  • Phone number (if known)
  • Date of Birth (if known)

When the scams team visit a scam responder, they collect information which includes:

  • Confirming name & address
  • Telephone number (landline and/or mobile)
  • Age or date of birth
  • E-mail address (where applicable)
  • Ethnicity
  • Relevant health information, including details of health conditions
  • Details of potential scams subjected or responded to
  • Amount lost to scams
  • Personal circumstances (e.g. recently bereaved, loneliness & isolation)
  • If appropriate, family contact details (where consent to contact has been given)
  • Where a call blocker is installed by the scams unit, the name, address and telephone number of the person receiving the call blocker is recorded

If a person visited requires assistance to contact banking or other financial institutions or utility providers, then details of these would also be requested, along with information relating to the existence of any power of attorney.

Where a person engaging with the scams unit agrees to become a scams marshal. i.e. with the purpose of forwarding scam mail to the National Scams Team for monitoring of scams, the name, address, telephone number and email of the scams marshal is recorded and shared with the National Scams Team.

Where a person decides to train as a Scams Champion, the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person trained by the scams unit is recorded for future contact in their role as a Scams Champion.

Where a person has undertaken the online Friends Against Scams training on the Council’s website, we will request their consent to their name, address, email and telephone number being kept for future contact by the scams unit for the purpose of dissemination of scams prevention information.

We collect information from you in the following ways:

  • Paper forms
  • Online forms and emails
  • Telephone conversations
  • Face to face meetings

We also receive information from other agencies, for example from:

  • Citizens Advice Consumer Services (CACS), a government funded service receiving all first line consumer complaints and enquiries. If you live in the Dudley borough and have reported a potential scam to CACS, they will notify us of the matter including your details.
  • Dudley MBC Adult Safeguarding service may refer victims of scams and financial abuse to us
  • The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) may refer victims of scams and financial abuse to us
  • Dudley MBC Telecare service’s Bogus Caller Hotline may refer victims of scams and financial abuse to us
  • The Police may refer victims of scams and financial abuse to us where it is suspected that there has been a breach of legislation enforced by trading standards or where victims may benefit from advice and support from trading standards
  • Financial institutions, such as banks and building societies, may make a referral for scams advice and support where there is a suspicion that a customer has experienced financial abuse.
  • Other local authorities including trading standards services may make a referral to us where there is a relevance to scams prevention in the Dudley borough

Legal basis for processing

Our legal basis for data processing comes from Articles 6, & 9 of GDPR.

Legal obligation- Article 6 (1) (c) - processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.

Public task-Article 6 (1) (e) – processing is necessary for us to perform a task carried out in the public interest or for our official functions.

Additionally, as the protection of vulnerable residents meets key priorities of the Council for health & wellbeing and safeguarding, the lawful basis for processing is under Article 6 (1) (e), public task, and Article 9- processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health.

The legal basis for processing special category data (previously known as sensitive personal data) which includes ethnicity and health data is contained within Article 9 (2) (g) where processing is necessary in the substantial public interest and is subject to additional safeguards to protect the use of this data.

Legislation enforced by Trading Standards in relation to scams, financial abuse and rogue traders includes (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
  • Fraud Act 2006
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

The Council also has a statutory duty under the Care Act 2014 to investigate abuse, including financial abuse, of a person with care and support needs.

What is your personal information used for?

The information we collect is used for the following purposes:

  • To provide a service to residents in the borough on scams prevention through the provision of advice & guidance
  • To make onward referrals as appropriate to other support services
  • To provide feedback to the National Trading Standards Scams Team via the Compass portal so that redacted national reports and statistics can be produced for publication
  • To investigate and enforce trading standards legislation

Sharing your personal information

We will share your personal information with our partner agency, the National Trading Standards Scams Team, via their secure portal Compass, where your referral to the scams team came via this route.

We will share information with our partner agency, Citizens Advice Consumer Services (CACS), who deal with all first line consumer complaints and enquiries, if your referral to the scams team came via CACS.

We will share your personal information with other organisations under prescribed circumstances, these being:

  • For the prevention and detection of crime
  • Where there is a serious risk of harm to you or to others
  • Where there are concerns that an adult is at risk of harm or abuse or is experiencing harm or abuse

The organisations we intend to share your data with under the above prescribed circumstances include:

  • The Police
  • Other regulators and enforcers, e.g. HMRC, National Trading Standards
  • Other Dudley MBC departments/services, for example adult safeguarding, revenues and benefits
  • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub

We will share your personal information with other services where you may benefit from being referred for additional support, with your consent, including:

  • Living Well, Feeling Safe
  • Warmer Homes
  • Pleased to Meet You scheme
  • Victim Support
  • Age UK Befriending
  • Bereavement counselling

Where you have expressed a wish to use the Telephone Preference Service or Mail Preference Service, we will liaise with the relevant service and provide your details with your consent. Where you have asked us to contact your bank or other financial institution or a utility provider, we will make contact with them and provide your details with your consent.

Keeping your personal information secure

We are committed to protecting personal data and have data policies and procedures in place to ensure that it is safeguarded. Personal information is held securely on the database service used. All staff undertake regular training in data protection and managing personal information.

Amount of time we hold your information

Information is kept in accordance with our retention policy. After we deliver a service to you, we keep your information as a business record of what was delivered. The retention period is 7 years.

Personal information processed outside the European Economic Community (EU)

We do not process your personal information outside the EU unless you specifically request us to do so.

Marketing

At no time will your information be passed to organisations external to us or our partners for marketing or sales purposes or for any commercial use without your prior express consent.

What are your rights?

Your rights are detailed in the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice http://www.dudley.gov.uk/privacy-disclaimer-statement/

Should you wish to raise any concerns about how we have processed your personal data you can contact the data protection officer, email information.governance@dudley.gov.uk

You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner.
If you would like a copy of this information in a different format, please email information.governance@dudley.gov.uk