Home Instead Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk are supporting North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards in activities to raise awareness of scams, especially scams that could affect the elderly.
Home Instead, who have previously collaborated with national scam awareness charity, Think Jessica, regularly roll out workshops in the local area. The aim of the workshops is to share information with attendees on the scale of the problem and the most common scams targeting the elderly as well as what to do if they have fallen victim to scammers.
Home Instead has also put together a free ‘Senior Fraud Protection Kit’ which contains information on the most common scams, tools to help assess the risk of an elderly loved one, plus really useful checklists to help seniors take practical action to lower the risk of becoming a victim of a scam.
As well as educating through their community workshops, to keep their clients safe, Home Instead caregivers are expected to undertake the National Trading Standards Scams Awareness Training with the caregiving team expected to achieve at least a pass rate of 90% or above.
Each year mass marketing mail scams, which often target vulnerable or disadvantaged consumers, cause approximately £3.5 billion worth of detriment to UK consumers.
The National Trading Standards Scams Team helps tackle mass marketing scams and disrupts the operations of perpetrators behind mail scams. It works in partnership with agencies across the country to identify and support victims of mass marketing fraud. The team provides guidance, best practice and establishes a centre of excellence to assist local authorities in supporting local victims and taking local enforcement action.
Each year scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of detriment to UK consumers. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.
In 2016 the National Trading Standards Scams Team launched the ‘Friends Against Scams’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of criminal scams, prevent people from becoming victims and to encourage people and communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.
The National Trading Standards Scams Team introduced free training and local awareness sessions, available online and in person, which provided people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams. The campaign aims to:
- Highlight the scale of the issue by encouraging communities and the nation to talk about scams
- Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims
- Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing better support
- Recruit individuals and communities to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation.
Home Instead recently invited Head of Investigations and Safeguarding at North Yorkshire County Council, Ruth Andrews, to a monthly afternoon tea party for the senior citizens of Thirsk at East Thirsk Community Hall to talk about scams and to make the group aware of any potential situations which could make them more vulnerable to falling victim to scams.
Sheena Van Parys, co-owner of Home Instead Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk who regularly volunteers at the afternoon tea commented; ‘It was great that Ruth Andrews joined our afternoon tea and shared her experiences of scams that are really happening in the local area, it reinforced all the work that we do at Home Instead in protecting the elderly. ‘
Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk if you think someone has been scammed or is at risk of being scammed. Consumer advice is available by calling 03454 04 05 06 -This includes making complaints about a trader, product, or to report a scam.
For information regarding Home Instead’s workshops, please call 01423 774490 or email [email protected] or to download a free copy of the Senior Fraud Protection Kit, please visit the Information & Resources section of www.homeinstead.co.uk.