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How to prevent fraudsters and scams

July is Scams Awareness Month, a campaign which aims to help people spot a scam, report a scam and talk about scams. Scams can take many different forms. It could be a call, text or email out of the blue, someone asking you to give them money or your bank details or a deal that is too good to be true.

According to a report by Experian, fraud costs the UK economy a staggering £193 billion a year. Now that sum will undoubtedly include large corporate fraud but, nowadays, more and more people are falling victim to scams, whether that is online or in person.

Unfortunately, it is often the elderly who are targeted by scams and fraudsters. A survey by Age UK in 2015 found that over half of people aged 65+ believe they have been targeted by fraudsters. While only one in 12 responded to the scam, 70 per cent of people of all age groups who did respond said that they had personally lost money.

Scams, or frauds against individuals, take many different forms. As well as scams on doorsteps, fraudsters are now finding even more methods to target individuals. The elderly can now be targeted in large numbers from people here in the UK and overseas via mail, phone calls and texts and online.

Tactics

Tactics include befriending and ‘grooming’ the elderly, along with impersonating professional bodies like banks, solicitors, either in person or via documents or websites. Quite often, scams against the elderly will also involve an element of threats or intimidation.

What’s more, in March 2014, trading standards officers at East Sussex County Council were given a ‘suckers list’ of over 100,000 potential victims across the UK, following a Met police raid. The National Trading Standards Scams Team was consequently set up to work in partnership with local authorities in scam detection, prevention, enforcement and education). The East Sussex Against Scams Partnership (ESASP) also launched earlier this year with 26 partners and aims to make the county scam free by raising awareness and taking action.

The first thing you must do if you think you or a loved one is a victim of a scam is report it. Reporting is really important in the fight against scams and fraud. It might help to recover your losses and it helps the authorities to learn more about the tactics used by scammers.

Here at Welbeing we take the safety and security of our customers  very seriously and we havea range of solutions to help , including:

Bogus caller button

Fixed near the door, the bogus caller button is an emergency panic button that provides reassurance for anyone who is concerned about the potential risks of unwanted callers.

KeySafe

A KeySafe is a simple yet secure way to keep your door keys handy should they be needed in an emergency. It is fitted to an external wall and can only be opened by entering a unique code. The police approved KeySafe is as safe and secure as your front door andfor anyone who needs other people to have access to their homes: friend and family, carers or the emergency services. You don’t have to risk hiding them under a doormat or in a plant pot.

Peephole Viewer

A Peephole viewer is ideal for vulnerable or sight impaired people to safely open the door without having to peep through a tiny eyeglass fitted in to the door.

Ideal for people who are not able to see through a small normal sized peephole viewer as you can view the video display with both eyes at a convenient distance. Also for victims of crime, domestic violence or people suffering from anti-social behaviour attacks.

Locking door chain

This innovative door chain allows you to speak to callers and check their identity before giving them access to your home. Once the door is unlocked and ajar, the key is inserted into the lock to release the chain and open the door fully. When leaving the property, the chain can be locked from the outside by reaching through the door opening and pushing the chain bolt into the lock.

If you think you have been a victim of a fraud or a scam you should visit Action Fraud. If you think someone is committing fraud against their local authority you can report them via Focusonfraud.

If you are interested in any of Welbeing’s service call us on 01323 644422 or info@welbeing.org.uk.

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