Home Money Millions of older people live in fear of scams and a large number worry about answering the phone or the door at home.

Millions of older people live in fear of scams and a large number worry about answering the phone or the door at home.

0 comment
Fearful of scammers: a significant minority worry about answering the phone or front door
  • Older people are at greater risk of falling victim to certain types of fraud
  • Mail and home fraud more likely to affect older generations
  • An undercurrent of fear of scams affects some people’s daily lives, says Age UK

Fearful of scammers: a significant minority worry about answering the phone or front door

One in five older people fear picking up the phone and one in 10 worry about opening the front door in case it’s a scammer, new research reveals.

Although anyone can be scammed, older people are at greater risk of becoming victims of certain types of fraud, particularly those who live alone or have cognitive problems or have recently lost someone, says Age UK.

Around 85 per cent of home crime victims are aged 65 or over and the average age of a postal scam victim is 75, according to Trading Standards figures cited by the charity.

Age UK says an undercurrent of fear of scams is affecting the daily lives of some older people and has published a new report on how to empower them to protect themselves.

Two years ago it launched a prevention program funded by Lloyds Banking Group to help those at risk or affected by this type of crime.

So far, almost 26,000 older people have taken part in scam awareness talks and almost 5,000 have had individual support sessions.

The charity says scammers often target older people with specific types of scams because they are perceived as more trusting and less tech-savvy, resulting in financial loss and a profound emotional and psychological impact on them.

He adds that many older people who are victims experience a deep sense of shame, embarrassment, depression, social isolation and deterioration in physical health, and some lose their independence after a scam.

Meanwhile, a survey of 10,000 people over the age of 50, weighted to be nationally representative of this population cohort, revealed that a significant minority are wary of carrying out everyday activities if they are targeted by scammers. Found:

money" data-version="2" id="mol-aa09ba50-fc0e-11ee-86c2-51b97d106c41" data-permabox-url="https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-13315545/Older-people-live-fear-scams-answering-phone.html" wp_automatic_readability="11">

How to protect yourself against scams

Age UK offers the following advice to older people.

– Never do anything you don’t want to do or make decisions on the spot

– Always check people’s credentials.

– Always ask someone you trust for a second opinion.

– Do not reveal personal information

– Share your experience with other people to reduce the risk of being scammed.

– About 11 percent, or the equivalent of 2.8 million adults over 50, are afraid to open their front door due to scams;

– And 19 percent, or 4.9 million seniors, are afraid to answer the phone;

– Between 5 and 8 percent say worry about scams keeps them up at night, prevents them from using the Internet or smartphones, or discourages them from going out and having fun.

“Many scammers are very sophisticated criminals and it is easy for anyone to fall for them,” says Caroline Abrahams, director of the charity Age UK.

‘However, older people sometimes face a unique set of risk factors, including social isolation, limited digital literacy and cognitive impairments, which make them prime targets for scammers.

“Our new report sheds light on the extraordinary prevalence of scams and the urgent need for scam prevention education and support among older people, especially those living in vulnerable circumstances.”

What do older people say about scams?

Age UK collected responses from people who took part in its scam prevention programme.

You only have to benefit from one thing because that could be the only thing, your weak point, that people could pass by. But who knows for the future? We just don’t know what these smart people, these scammers, will do next.

I hung up the phone now, something I had never done before. I wouldn’t have done it before.

So, I learned what not to say, which is good… Because I live alone and am housebound. And my thought was: Sometimes I get carried away when they call me and tell me that you have won something. Tell us your address or give me your sort code and we will send it to you. Know? Now I have learned not to do that because I did it in the beginning.

I had to answer every phone call [when my husband was ill] because it could be the district nurse, it could be the doctors, it could be anyone it concerns you. And that’s when I felt very vulnerable because I knew I had to answer phone calls. because I can’t remember all the numbers. And now I know that because the lady came and gave the talk, I don’t have to respond to them.

My husband… would be the type to easily believe what someone had told him on the phone. But now I have instructed him, I have instructed him completely in that. And now…if someone is on the phone, he just says, “I don’t give any information over the phone.”

You may also like