Protecting the elderly from scams
With the recent news regarding an elderly gentleman conned by prize draws, we want to give advice on protecting the elderly from scams.
There was a recent story in the Daily Mail regarding an elderly dementia sufferer having a huge hoard of unwanted goods from hundreds of prize draw scams; unfortunately this is becoming more and more common. Scam artists prey upon all types of people, but the elderly are particularly targeted due to their vulnerability, especially if living alone or suffering from memory loss.
Common scams and how to deal with them
There are many types of scams, but the common ones are;
Receiving letters from fake charities, pyramid schemes or lotteries/prize draws etc., where commonly they ask for financial details. Sometimes it may be difficult to know whether these are legitimate, so it is best to discuss with someone trustworthy before responding to anything, even if it is to say no, because this could provoke the hoaxer to keep contacting.
Someone could come to the door such as a rogue trader, fake official or charity, aiming to again take financial details in some way or even try to access the home and steal valuables. It is important to answer the door with caution, not letting strangers in without previous appointment, fitting a spy hole and/or chain on the door for extra security.
Nuisance phone calls
Unexpected phone calls from a hoaxer sounding convincing, professional and/or claiming to be from a familiar business such as a bank. They may put pressure on to get personal and financial details because if not, a “big opportunity” that they’re offering could be missed. Be very cautious of these cold callers; do not give out personal information to anyone who calls. If there is any doubt, then simply hang up.
Talk with the telephone provider to see whether they have privacy services or call blocking. Or register FREE with the Telephone Preference Service.
The Impact on the Elderly
For an elderly person to fall victim to these types of crimes can be very distressing, impacting on their independence and confidence.
If you have an elderly loved one or neighbour, openly talk to them about these types of scams, making them aware of the risks. This conversation could help them to not become a victim. Or you could give them some further information such as this guide to staying safe from Age UK – http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Information-guides/AgeUKIG01_Staying_safe.inf.pdf?dtrk=true
And some useful numbers of organisations that they can use to get advice on any calls or mail they receive:
– The Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06
– Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 FREE
Live in Care can provide 24 hour security for the elderly
Live in Care can be the perfect solution for those wishing to remain independent in their home but with the security of knowing someone is there. Live in Carers can provide companionship and household assistance whilst also protecting them from falling victim to financial fraud and giving peace of mind for both the individual and their loved ones.
To find out more about Live in Care go to our What is Live in Care? page.