In this day and age most people will have heard of senior fraud and the effects it can have on an individual both mentally and physically. Even though there are a number of resources readily available to the public to help prevent people falling victim to the scammers, the number of fraud offences are rising each year. Home Instead senior care Telford, Newport and Bridgnorth play an active role in supporting the local community in raising awareness. People who suffer from Dementia are particularly susceptible to fraud as they are in a vulnerable situation which can easily be forgotten.
Age UK have done research into senior fraud and the techniques the scammers use, these include;
- The use of appropriate and latest technology, particularly the use of the internet.
- The information that is given is in a professional and legitimate manner.
- They only request small sums of money as this makes the victim less likely to report the fraud.
- They operate in a legal Hinterland, which basically means they use tactics that make it difficult to identify it as fraud.
- They may use intimidation or the threat of violence.
Once an individual has responded to a scam, they are placed on a list known as a ‘suckers list’. These contain the names of previous victims and are sold and shared between the criminal gangs. The reason the elderly are targeted could be down to a variety of reasons such as loneliness, financial stability, poor health and even a decline in their cognitive function which can lead to poor decision making.
Even when the fraud has stopped, the impact it has on the victims and their families’ lives can be detrimental. A lot of people will lose trust even in there loved one and can suffer with low self-esteem. They also may never recover financially and could potentially lose their assets.
Some ways to try and keep your loved ones safe from fraud are;
- Shred or burn documents that contain sensitive information.
- Make sure any charities that your loved one is donating to is a registered charity.
- Watch out for any changes in lifestyle, whether its poor diet and nutrition or unusual activity with their finances.
- Be suspicious of anyone who promises big returns on an investment. Always remember if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!
Home Instead Senior Care has partnered up with the Think Jessica Campaign to help raise awareness of senior fraud against the elderly. In 2007 a lady called Marilyn Baldwin started the campaign after five years of struggling to find help for her mother Jessica. She aimed to help educate people to the reality of senior fraud and the impacts on everyone’s lives that are involved, and are now a registered charity.
If you would like to know more information or advice on Senior Fraud go to the Think Jessica website or alternatively the Home Instead Senior Care Website.