Elderly scam victims 'lose twice as much'Scams awareness drive offers tips to avoid cons

01 February 2008

The plight of elderly victims is being highlighted in Scams Awareness Month, launched today.

Research by the  Office of Fair Trading (OFT) shows that older victims lose nearly twice as much per scam as others.

The campaign will shine a spotlight on the hidden misery of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people who repeatedly fall victim to scams such as , deceptive prize draws, fake psychics and ‘miracle’ health cures.

It’s estimated that 3 million UK consumers fall victim to scams sent by post, email, text, phone and the internet each year, costing the public £3.5 billion.

Checklist

If you care for an older person, the OFT suggests you check the following:

  • does the person you care for receive a lot of junk mail?
  • do they have a house full of cheap-looking goods such as jewellery or health products?
  • does the person receive frequent calls from strangers?
  • do they become secretive when discussing finances with family and friends?

OFT advice is not to be rushed into sending off money to someone you don’t know, read the mailing carefully and seek the advice of family and friends.

Stay scam savvy with our guides to spotting, and reporting, a scam.

If you think you have been a victim of a scam, or you suspect a scam, contact Consumer Direct for advice on 08454 04 05 06.