One of the most despicable crimes you can get to hear about is when you learn that a senior citizen, maybe someone who is loved on to you, has fallen victim to a scam which has resulted in them losing some or all of their hard-earned money.
It is not just the financial loss that can be so distressing in these circumstances, as many elderly people feel ashamed as well as annoyed that their vulnerability has been exploited, which can often make them harbour feelings of insecurity.
Getting advice on a host of legal matters in order to protect your financial situation is something that you can do through someone like Slater and Gordon, but if you have loved ones in their golden years, they might need a bit of help to protect them from some common scams that they may not be aware of.
Clever and ruthless
It would be wise to never underestimate the lengths that scammers will go to in order to con their victim out of money, as these perpetrators are both clever and ruthless in equal measure.
To give you some idea of the scale of the problem with elderly people being targeted, the Financial Ombudsman in the UK, estimates that a staggering 80% of phone scam victims are aged over 55.
There are some three million reported scam incidents in the UK alone each year and these are just the ones that get recorded, so the scale of the problem could well be much larger. Scammers target senior citizens, looking for anyone in that age group who lives alone, is there on their own during the day, and is willing to talk to them.
Spotting a scammer is not an easy task as they tend to work their way into gaining the trust of their victim, but a big clue is when someone makes contact with their victim out of the blue, claiming to be able to help them in some way in return for money, or telling them that they have won a prize or are eligible for an excellent investment opportunity.
Faceless phone scams
It is unfortunate that because your loved one will probably have a trusting nature, they may well be prepared to accept what they are being told on the phone and take it at face value.
Scammers target elderly people by phone and can often pretend to be someone in authority, such as a caller from their bank, or even pretending to be a police officer and offering to protect them from financial fraud, which is precisely what they are attempting to commit themselves.
Always warn any loved one in your family to resist the request to provide personal details like their bank account details and any passwords or PIN information. Genuine calls from banks with regard to security breaches or suspected fraudulent transactions, will not request this level of personal information over the phone.
Good advice would be to check out the callers claims in person at their local bank before going any further with providing information. A genuine bank caller will understand this approach and be warned, scammers can sometimes stay on the line and pretend to be your bank when you call them to check out the details.
Get some information on common scams and talk to your loved ones about some of the common schemes that can be attempted over the phone or on the doorstep.
Toby Clayton enjoys article writing in his spare time, mostly that’s on a late Sunday afternoon! He writes about property related topics as he works as a real estate agent, and also eldercare topics; something he is facing in his personal life at the moment with ageing parents to care for.