‘Scammed’ is a word no family member wants to hear when it comes to a senior loved one. Home is where we should feel safest, but scammers find ways to invade secure lives and can often target older people in particular. Older people are vulnerable targets from criminals who regularly devise new schemes in an attempt to steal valuables via post, internet or telephone - whether it’s their money, their identity, or their property:
Home Instead, who provide home care services for older people, are well aware of this issue and have now produced a Senior Fraud Protection Toolkit. This is a 12 page document providing helpful information on the top scams, financial abuse tactics, scam reminder checklists to follow for post, telephone and computer and advice on what to do if a family member has been a victim of any such scheme.
Older people can unfortunately be at higher risk of falling prey to a scam for a variety of reasons. They can be seen as targets due to their availability (at home much of the time); possible isolation; health issues meaning they are less able to do home maintenance themselves; not being as up to date with legislative changes, e.g. unaware of the 7 day cooling off period from cold callers.
The impact of scams and fraud on the elderly is significant, including both emotional distress and financial loss. It may be an idea to sit down with your parent, relative or friend and talk calmly about the threat of scammers. If you live some distance away perhaps contact friends and neighbours to periodically check on their welfare. This may help avoid the potential humiliation and financial devastation of being conned.
You can get a free copy of the Senior Fraud Protection Toolkit by calling 01457 874566, email firstname.lastname@example.org or downloading it from the Home Instead website at www.homeinstead.co.uk