Preventing Fraud – how Home Instead Havant helped a vulnerable client avoid a devastating situation

Home Instead Havant help to prevent fraud amongst our elderly and vulnerable community members.

Did you know, recent research by Age UK found that 53% of people aged 65+ believe they have been targeted by fraudsters.

This is an extremely high percentage of people who are being targeted because of their vulnerabilities, and it’s a number which we, as a care company who truly care about the more vulnerable members of our communities, strive to reduce in our area by means of education and sharing our knowledge.

Unfortunately, Home Instead have had to come face to face with scammers in the past claiming to be roofing specialists who targeted one of our vulnerable, elderly clients who lived alone, named John.

John was at home one day when he heard a knock on the door. When he answered the door, he found two men standing in-front of him claiming to be roofing specialists. They told John they were in the area doing some work clearing gutters and could do this for him cheaply.  He agreed and they went to work on his house.

Once started they came back to him so say that they had spotted some issues with his roof that needed fixing urgently and started showing him bit of guttering that had broken off.

Feeling concerned that his roof was not safe, John agreed to the men inspecting his roof.

In the meantime, John had a call from his son who lived in the States and had a chat with him.  John’s son felt very uneasy after talking to his dad and believed that something was not quite right with the situation. However, living so far away from his dad, he couldn’t make it to the house himself to find out more about the repairs.

John’s son, feeling an immense amount of trust in Home Instead Havant as our carers had been looking after his dad for some time and had built a fantastic relationship with him, called into our office based on Hayling Island. He explained the situation to us and expressed his concern over his dads’ vulnerabilities and the men conducting the work on his house.

Back at John’s, the workmen informed John that more repairs were needed than initially thought, and that these repairs needed to be undertaken urgently to ensure the safety of his roof and home.

John agreed to the men conducting the repairs on his roof and they went away to buy materials. What had started out as a cash in hand £50 job was now rapidly becoming a four figure project.

Mark, our Home Instead Havant franchise owner, and Chioma, the Care Manager at Home Instead Havant, headed straight over to John’s house after speaking with his son on the phone. When they arrived, the men conducting the work were at a local hardware store getting supplies for the job. Mark and Chioma waited in the house for their return. When the men arrived back at the house, Mark spoke to the men for a while enquiring about the repairs whilst Chioma went to look at the van in which they had arrived.

Chioma noticed that there was no signage on the van, no contact numbers, nor name of the company they worked for. She took a photo of the number plate as a record and headed back to the house.

Mark asked the men for some proof of ID, or for the name and contact details of the company they were working for, but they could not provide this. Eventually, the men left John’s house agreeing not to return.

Home Instead Havant informed the Police and the Safeguarding team of the situation that had occurred and shared the photo of the van and number plate with them.

John and his son were extremely grateful to Home Instead for taking their concerns seriously and acting so quickly to ensure the safety of his dad, John. The team at Home Instead were so pleased to be able to help bring the situation to an end before John had lost out on a big sum of money.

Our client’s safety is the most important aspect of the work both the office, and the Care Professionals at Home Instead do, and it is something we take very seriously.

Home Instead Havant are now helping to educate local community members on how they can spot a scam, and how they can help protect themselves and their elderly, or vulnerable loved ones from being defrauded. This includes fraud prevention talks taking place in the local surrounding areas.

The next talk will be held at Emsworth Methodist Church & Pastoral Centre, 19 High St, Emsworth PO10 7AQ on Thursday 18th April 12pm.

For any further information, or help on how to prevent scams, please give us a call on 02394 249683.