“Scammers” – those wanting to manipulate money out of people – often vulnerable – are sadly a common reality.

Scammers can be very convincing – around 5 million people in the UK over 65 become victims – and that’s only the ones who report it. Experts have said that up to 95 per cent of victims don’t report it, because they feel embarrassed or ashamed that they were duped. It’s not only the vulnerable who fall prey to scams but those who are isolated, elderly, perhaps suffering from dementia are more at risk.

Here are a few ideas of how you can protect your loved ones from scammers.

Phone Scams

Just hang up – Remind your loved oneregularly that they don’t have to talk to someone they don’t know on the phone. You could try sticking a note next to the phone reminding them to ‘just hang up!’ if they don’t know the caller or think they’re asking too many questions.

Opt out – The Telephone Preference Service is a free service through which you can opt out of receiving sales and marketing calls. Click here to register 

Once you’ve registered your number it can take around 28 days for the calls to stop completely.

Block them – For total reassurance, you might want to consider buying a fairly simple device called a call blocker. A call blocker will block all incoming calls except the numbers you chose, so you don’t have to worry about phone scams anymore. Click here for more information 

You can block numbers easily on most smart phones

A call answering service – Sounds expensive? It’s not if you are worried your loved one might fall. Prey to a scam! A telephone concierge service will screen all calls and connect them with family and friends whenever they pick up their phone and ask. Here’s a link for more information: (NB this is just one provider and others do exist) https://www.unforgettable.org/fuss-free-phones-calls-made-simple

Doorstep Scams

“Friendly, charming people knocking on the door” are a danger. These scammers are very persuasive.

Discuss the following steps with your loved ones so in the event of them being ‘doorstepped’ they won’t end up agreeing to anything.

Stop – don’t do anything on the spot

Check – ask to see ID

Ask – someone for a second opinion

Mine – keep your personal details (including bank cards and pin numbers) to yourself

Share – with neighbours and friends. Warn others so they don’t fall victim either.

You can download a free ‘no cold callers’ sign for your door or window from Action  Fraud – here’s a link

 

Raise the alarm –  A personal alarm service could warn off doorstep scammers. If someone calls at their home and they can’t rid of them, or they just feel a bit unsettled, they can simply press an alarm button (warn around their neck as a pendant) and speak instantly to a professional, friendly person who knows how to help.

For more information about the SOS Personal Alarm with Home Monitoring Service click here

If your loved one has already fallen prey to a scammer Call 0300 123 2040 to report it…and please please do report it so that others are not still in the firing line.

Is it time to register your LPA? –  Protect the person you love from future financial abuse by registering your Lasting Power of Attorney is recommended.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a very beneficial legal document and is usually seen as the final piece of the process in planning and protecting your estate. It is a legal document that lets you  appoint one or more people, known as ‘attorneys’, to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated due to accident, injury or illness. If you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney you are essentially handing over your affairs, in the event of being incapacitated, to strangers!

Our Care Hub team can put you in touch with specialists to help with LPAs and can advise you more on staying safe at home.