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Spotting A Scam Aimed Towards Older People

Spotting a scam aimed towards older people is important to keeping one step ahead of scammers and keeping yourself safe.

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What is a Scam

A scam is a scheme typically used by criminals who attempt or sometimes succeed in tricking people out of their money. Personal details such as your name, address, passwords, account numbers and date of birth are something a scammer will try and gain access to in order to secure a route to taking your money. Personal details being stolen is identity fraud, and with this information, scammers can access your bank, open a new account in your name and even make false insurance claims.

A scammer is typically a very convincing liar who will use every trick possible to scam you and have no emotions with regards to hurting you along the way. Anyone can fall victim to a scam but they are very clever in who they target, in what way and at what time.

Spotting a Scam

There are some typical scam warnings you can look out for, which can highlight a potential scam:

  • Be suspicious if you’re contacted out of the blue, especially in the case of someone calling you claiming to be your bank, pension holder or local trader.
  • If the deal they are offering you looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often look to tell you that you have won a large prize or you are able to make a lot of money with minimal risk if they click on a link. It’s highly unlikely if you have not signed up to anything that you will have won something you have not heard of.
  • Do not give away your personal details to anyone. With this information they can forge your identity.
  • Do not give into the pressure to decide on something right away. If they are pressuring you, they do not want to give you time to think about what they are offering you, because it is likely to be a scam.
  • Beware of letters or emails with grammatical or spelling mistakes, any legitimate company will not make a mistake.
  • If someone advises you not to tell anyone about their offer, this is likely to be a scam.
  • Scammers do not like giving their contact details out, so if they are offering you an offer out of the blue, then think twice if they do not provide you with their contact details.

Who Might be Targeted

Typically, the type of people who get targeted about scams are aged 65 and over as they are believed to be ‘easy targets’. Although anyone can fall a victim to a scam, older people are a greater risk due to:

  • Living alone
  • Being home during the day
  • Have savings or other valuables in the home
  • More likely to talk to them, possibly due to loneliness

Different Types of Scam are:

The main reason behind a scam is to trick a person out of their money and the ways many scammers do this is by:

  • Promoting a gift, prize or windfall if you part with a small amount of cash
  • Befriending you by convincing you to help them out of a difficult situation
  • Selling a product or service that you do not need
  • Tricking you into your home so they can steal your valuables
  • Impersonating a trusted organisation

Scammers can try and get through to you via telephone, post, on the door or online. If you are unsure on who is on the phone, sending you mail, at your door or via an email, do not speak with them just ignore it and report it.

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