Local Organisations Team Up To Stop Scams

The team at Home Instead who support people living in their own homes in and around the towns of Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk recently supported local Thirsk charity East Thirsk Community Association in helping to make Thirsk residents’ scam and fraud aware.

Each month the residents of East Thirsk get together for afternoon tea at East Thirsk Community Hall, with themes and activities ranging from bingo, singing and music to dance.

This month, the Neighbourhood Policing Team came in and talked about the ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’, a national campaign from Financial Fraud Action UK and the UK government backed by the banking industry. It’s about taking that moment, to take five and think before you respond to any text, email or phone call asking you to share any personal or financial details.

The team at Home Instead know how important it is to keep their elderly clients safe and therefore provide their CAREGivers access to The National Trading Standards Scams Team e-learning training which is available to Home Instead’s network of over 8000 CAREGivers across the country.

Unfortunately, criminals who use email, telephone and post to steal their victims’ life savings, personal banking information and other assets, often prey on the elderly as they see them as easy targets. Working with older people in our local community, we know all too well the devastating effects this can have on them, both financially and emotionally.

Here are our top 5 fraud fighting tips:

1. Consider having a second set of eyes look over post and e-mails if you are unsure of the legitimacy of anything you receive.
2. Never divulge personal information or bank details in a call or e-mail which you did not expect or initiate – genuine callers, including your bank, will never ask for sensitive information over the phone or via e-mail.
3. Never send cash or money transfers to a stranger, even if it is to claim a ‘free prize’. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is!
4. Don’t be afraid to stop a caller if they are trying to sell something that is not wanted. Use phrases like “I never buy anything over the phone” or simply “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to hang up.”
5. A secure web address where you’re asked to enter personal information should always start: https://. Websites which start http:// (without the ‘s’) are not secure.

The talk at the afternoon tea was well received and the 40 attendees found the session very useful and went away with a better understanding on how they could be potentially targeted by criminals and how they can keep safe by being aware and just taking that time to think and consider whether the request is genuine.

Cynthia Hesmondhalgh- Chair of East Thirsk Community Association commented; ‘the session was extremely useful, and I would like to thank PCSO Heather Lees for taking the time to speak to people individually on any concerns they may have. Thank you to those who volunteered and helped at the event including the trustees of East Thirsk Community Association and the team at Home Instead.’   

If you have been affected by any type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online: www.actionfraud.police.uk
To report a fraud crime, call your local police on 101 (non -emergency)  

Home Instead regularly run workshops in the community on fraud/scams awareness, to find out more contact the team on 01423 774490 or email [email protected]
or visit www.homeinstead.co.,uk/harrogate