Fight Back Against Fraud

Home Instead partners with the National Trading Standards Scams Team and with the charity Think Jessica, to offer an innovative e-learning training course in scams awareness to help combat mass fraud schemes and particularly their impact on older, vulnerable people.

The NTSST is the ‘nerve centre’ for the prevention, detection and general disruption of scamming or mass marketing fraud in the UK.

The Think Jessica campaign was started by Jessica’s daughter, Marilyn, after her mother was repeatedly scammed and defrauded to the point where she lost all her life’s savings. Marilyn wanted to educate others about the powerful psychology criminals use to ensnare their victims, which can be strong enough to turn elderly victims against their loved ones and those trying to help. Think Jessica is supported by various organisations and police forces nationwide, and is committed to making people aware of the dangers and financial implications posed by postal and telephone scams.

Over twenty of our staff have now completed the Scams Hub official e-learning programme and have thereby gained National Trading Standards certification.

In further support of the campaign, our Community Champion Janet, assisted by our training officer Denise, are preparing to deliver fraud prevention sessions remotely, or in person when Covid restrictions permit, to elderly groups across north Hampshire.

Sally, our operations manager, says: “We want to do everything we can to protect our clients from scammers, so we have trained our CAREGivers to know about and be able to identify the different scams, and how to spot the warning signs with their clients.  But, not stopping there, we are also offering scams awareness sessions to the community and particularly to groups of older people.”

A participant recently posted on Facebook:  “I just had a phone call from this number 020 3723 0670. It was a recorded message from a lady with an American accent saying a criminal case has been raised in my name. I have had these numbers ringing me today too 07874 227344 and 07874 967945 which I don’t recognise. It is scary but because you gave your talk I’m going to ignore them eeek xxx”.

As part of its public education programme, Home Instead has developed a free “Senior Fraud Protection Kit” which provides tools to help in assessing the risk of being defrauded, together with a checklist to help identify potential scams. Information covers, for example, scammers’ financial abuse tactics, top scams against the elderly, reasons why the elderly are targets and the impact on them of such scams; it covers scams perpetrated through post, telephone, internet and email. Common themes include offers of competition prizes, inheritance cash from long lost relatives, blackmail attempts and huge returns from small investments.

The NTS Scams Team recently reported a surge in scam and nuisance calls targeting people over the age of 70, seeking to exploit new and unfamiliar processes associated with COVID-19 such as applying for swab tests and vaccines.

We welcome any requests for a scams presentation – please phone us on 01256 840 660 or email Janet on [email protected]

For more information on our home care services please click here.