Louise Hughes, Age Cymru presentation

Report
Scams and older people
Louise Hughes
Safeguarding
Programme Manager
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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
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Scams
• A scam is a
scheme that
is designed to
con people
out of their
cash
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Contact Details
• Louise Hughes
• Safeguarding Programme
Manager
• [email protected]
• Ffion Jones
• Safeguarding Programme
Administrator
• [email protected]
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Age Cymru
St Andrews Park
Queens Lane
Bromfield Industrial Park
Mold
Flintshire
CH7 1XB
• 01352 706228
• www.agecymru.org.uk
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