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Scams and older people Louise Hughes Safeguarding Programme Manager 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Scams and older people Louise Hughes Safeguarding Programme Manager 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scams and older people Louise Hughes Safeguarding Programme Manager 1

2 Financial abuse in Wales 21% of adult safeguarding referrals in Wales are about financial abuse Issues include; wills, theft, property, misuse of power of attorney, befriending, taking benefits Almost 70% of advocacy services for older people in Wales said financial abuse is the most common form of abuse they deal with Complex situation to deal with when family are involved and the person has capacity 2

3 Scams A scam is a scheme that is designed to con people out of their cash 3

4 Statistics The Alzheimer's Society published a report called 'Short Changed: Protecting people with dementia from financial abuse', 2012 – 40% of older people in the UK with dementia are regularly targeted by scam mail some of whom have lost money by entering competitions. – 15% had been approached by rogue traders or had unnecessary work done. – 70% were routinely targeting by rogue traders over the telephone. – 62% had been approached by unscrupulous cold callers or doorstep sales people. In June 2011 the National Fraud Authority published their report on victims of fraud. – women over 66 on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to fraudulent offers – the total fraud loss for UK women over 66 year old is £0.32bn, with £0.26bn spent on foreign lotteries and £0.06bn spent on prize draw scams. In 2006 the Office of Fair Trading published 'Research on impact of mass marketed scams'. – It concluded that a victim has a 30% chance of falling for another scam within the following 12 months 4

5 Research ‘Short Changed: Protecting people with dementia from financial abuse’ Alzheimer’s Society 2012 National Fraud Authority report on victims of fraud, 2011 ‘Desperate times, desperate consumers’ Citizen’s Advice 2011 ‘ The psychology of scams: Provoking and committing errors of judgement’ Office of Fair Trading 2009 Office of Fair Trading report ‘Research on impact of mass marketed scams’ 2006 5

6 Types of scams Prize draw wins Fake foreign lotteries Bogus psychic predictions Telephone scams Miracle health cures Investment scams Doorstep crime Internet scams – Fake bank security emails – Phishing for identity – Foreign money offers – Online dating 6

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10 Scams and UK Consumers – 380,000 people each year fall victim to prize draw scams – Office of Fair Trading research estimates that UK consumers lose about £3.5 billion to scams each year – BUT..... Less than 5% of people report scams to the authorities 10

11 Impact – ‘Suckers lists’ – responding to one scam can lead to chronic victimisation especially amongst vulnerable consumers – Older people are more likely to be targeted by a scam and older people are likely to lose larger amounts of money 11

12 Common Traits They are unsolicited They promise something for nothing They want money upfront They seem too good to be true – and they are! They are perpetrated by criminals who have no regard for the welfare of the victims 12

13 Effects on the Victim They often feel a loss of confidence, self worth, anxiety, depression Feelings of guilt for falling for a scam Fear that someone knows where they live Mental and physical health can deteriorate Debt Become estranged from family and friends Becoming addicted to the scam mail Irrational belief that they will win something soon Older people on average lost twice as much as other age groups with many becoming ‘chronic’ scam victims 13

14 Identifying chronic scam victims Lots of junk mail being received House full of cheap goods, jewellery, clocks, calculators Frequent calls from strangers Mood swings Withdrawing from family and friends Secretive about finances May be a victim of other crimes; doorstep crime 14

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16 Preventative approaches NATIONALLY – Age Cymru Scams Toolkit – Partnership working – Scambusters – Doorstep crime campaign – Training and awareness sessions – ‘Think Jessica’ Campaign – Conferences – Media LOCALLY – Trading standards – Scambusters – Community Safety Partnerships – Advocacy services – Holistic approaches by adult social services 16

17 Scams and dementia project 2 year Comic Relief funded project Partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society 2 volunteer co-ordinators Trained volunteers and advocates Awareness raising workshop sessions 6 areas across Wales 17

18 Contact Details Louise Hughes Safeguarding Programme Manager Ffion Jones Safeguarding Programme Administrator Age Cymru St Andrews Park Queens Lane Bromfield Industrial Park Mold Flintshire CH7 1XB 01352 706228 18

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