Clair recently attended Crewe & Nantwich Carers Group and gave a presentation on Senior Fraud Protection.
Home Instead Senior Care have joined forces with the charity “Think Jessica” and are committed to help raise awareness of scams and help people become more Scam Aware. The aim is that the more information we can get out into the community, the higher likelihood there is that we can help someone avoid being taken advantage of.
Clair said “Although anyone can be - and have been - targeted by these criminals, elderly people are often a focus. Our elders can become isolated or lonely which can mean they are more susceptible to scammers who target people and often harass them until they become their next victim”.
The presentation helps convey the size of the problem, discusses different types of scams and things to look out for and explores ideas of how we can avoid scammers. We also look at what to do if you do become a victim, or if you think someone has attempted to scam you.
Even though scams are evolving all the time, there are some fairly easy things that we can do - and encourage our elder friends, families and neighbours to do - that may help protect against scams.
- Stay on the safe side and shred documents that could be useful to scammers, like bank statements and other financial documents. Keep important documents safe and out of the way.
- Add your address and telephone number to the Mail and Telephone Preference Service (MPS and TPS) to avoid scam letters and cold calls. If you are registered with the MPS and TPS and are still receiving unsolicited mail it's likely to be fraudsters.
- Remember: NEVER provide personal information in a phone call that you didn't initiate.
- If you want to make a charitable donation be safe and check it's registered with the Charity Commission, call them on 0845 300 0218. It's better to be safe than sorry.
- Help check for scam in the post. Ask your loved one to gather their post and wait for your help to sort it out together. Even if you feel you're being over cautious take advantage of the additional time you then spend together.
- If you asked to call back a number to verify the information given ensure that you either call from a different phone or wait at least a few hours to make a call. AND only make the call once you have verified the number from another source e.g. reverse of your bank card if it’s the bank, the internet, or the Yellow page/local directory.
- Keep your eyes and ears open for a new 'friend' who is unwilling to meet you. Fraudsters want to protect their relationships from outside interference.
- If you're worried about someone you can’t have daily contact with, ask trusted friends and neighbours to lend their eyes and ears to watch out for scams. We are also happy to help. Give us a call on 01270 611555 if you need assistance.
“The main thing to remember is that if something is genuine, they shouldn’t mind you taking additional precautions to verify the information. Do not feel bad for taking steps to protect yourself, and never feel obliged to have an unsolicited conversation on the telephone or at your front door.” said Clair
If you know of a community group that you feel would benefit from hearing our presentation please contact the Home Instead team on 01270 611555