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New campaign launched to help combat scams targeting older people in Gedling borough


An online video campaign which aims to combat a rise in scams targeting the elderly in Gedling borough has been launched by police and a leading charity

Age UK has teamed up with scam-busters Action Fraud to create a new online video which aims to help older people avoid becoming a victim to online and also doorstep fraud.

WARNING: A new video has been produced to help prevent elderly people fall for doorstep and online fraud

The charity said the campaign had been launched after a recent rise in scams targeting the elderly in the borough and that those who live alone or suffer with cognitive impairment are at greater risk of becoming victims.

Age UK are also warned that as well as financial losses being common, becoming a victim of fraud seriously affects older people’s quality of life and wellbeing. They said many victims experience a deep sense of shame, embarrassment, depression, social isolation and a decline in physical health – with some even losing their independence.

The charity’s new online video, which features veteran broadcast journalist and presenter, Sir Martyn Lewis; aims to prevent older people from becoming victims by helping them identify and stop doorstep scams such as rogue traders.

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It also outlines five simple steps which can be applied to a range of common fraud affecting older people, including postal fraud (e.g. lotteries and prize draws), pensions and investment fraud, cold calls, and email and online dating fraud.

Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, hopes the video will help potential victims protect themselves.

She said: “Action Fraud reports show that those over the age of 65 are often targeted by fraudsters and that the consequences of being defrauded for older people are often harsh and long-lasting.

“Fraudsters use cruel tactics to defraud their victims with no regard to their age or circumstance and they will often seek out those most vulnerable in society.

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“These criminals do not think about their victim’s financial and social wellbeing and they will often leave them with nothing.”

John Edwards, head of Service Delivery at Age UK, warned that many of these scams targeting the elderly were getting more sophisticated.

He said: “Scams can have a devastating emotional and financial impact on older people.

“Everyone has the right to feel comfortable, safe and secure at home, yet there are an increasing number of sophisticated scams designed to cheat people of their money, empty their bank account or steal their identity.

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“We are very excited about this new pilot programme which we hope will not only raise awareness of scams but empower older people across Gedling borough to feel safer, more secure and confident, and ultimately reduce the numbers of older people becoming victims of fraud.

“We would urge people to be vigilant and remember, if there is any doubt about the authenticity of an offer or piece of correspondence, do not respond and report it to the authorities immediately.”

If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by using the online reporting tool.

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