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Defend yourself from being the victim of a scam!

Scam Prevention and Fraud

A very informative and useful seminar was held at Milner House Care home last Tuesday afternoon – giving guests a better understanding of scams and fraud prevention.

Roy Booth Milner House Customer Relations Manager,  for the home and ‘Scam Champion’ presented the information in the home cinema which residents often enjoy films in, but for the talk was dedicated to this important topic –aimed at raising awareness of this very relevant subject – especially for older vulnerable people. Most attendees has seen the talk advertised locally and wished to come and learn more about the topic.

Key facts about Scams

Scams are criminal acts to make victims part with their money. They rely on situations such as loneliness, vulnerability, social isolation & shame. Only 5% of scams are reported. The average age of a scam victim is 75. Lists are shared and victims are repeatedly scammed. Letters are common and scammers can send multiple letters and notes to defraud people.

Scam Champions have been trained by the national standards authority to educate and inform people so they can take a stand against scams and try and avoid getting caught in this highly criminal activity

Key points about scams

  1. 53% of scams are on people over 65 now although younger age groups are falling foul to these, due to more online activity going on
  2. £5-10 billion is the cost to UK economy annually of scamming
  3. Scams can affect anyone
  4. Only 5%of scams are reported

Types of scam

Postal, telephone, doorstep (Nottingham Knockers) and online scams

Postal: Lottery or prize draw, catalogue scam, clairvoyant and inheritance scams are very common

Immediacy- all have a time-scale prize transfer authorization and Roy shared different things to watch out for – too good to be true. Lots of testimonials from others and you have to ‘pay a fee’ before you get any money, and oft en use celebrities pictures and names.

Telephone scams: you can use call blocker devises to help and indicate that the call is being recorded to the caller. The sales people are charming who flatter victims.

Top tip – your legally entitled to a 14 day cool off period, get references, get alternative quote. Check scammers ID

Computer scams becoming more prevalent. Cyber crime – Phishing, Pharming, Romance scam, impersonation of UK officials. Things to watch out for :

  • Inconsistent email address
  • Incorrect url website address
  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Pressure to respond
  • Includes and attachment which is often a virus
  • Overuse of capital letters, no signature or headed paper and vague and inconsistent

In short the elderly are becoming more prone to these situations and there is not enough community involvement to help support elderly neighbours be aware of these scams. Elderly people are often trusting and not aware of what’s going on.

For more information see www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk or National trading standards.

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