Scams prevention for older residents
The amount of money stolen by criminals through bank transfer scams has risen by 40% in a year and is running at more than £1m a day, according to official UK data.
In Sussex, it’s our elderly residents that have been identified as being at greater risk of falling victim to fraudsters.
This is why an Age UK East Sussex project, arming older people with the knowledge to protect themselves against scams, has received £2,500 of further funding from Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s Safer in Sussex fund.
As well as helping people to spot scams and creating links with local organisations to spread the message about how to stay safe, Age UK advisers also visit vulnerable older people at their homes to provide one-on-one support.
PCC Katy Bourne has shown an ongoing commitment to tackling the exploitation of our most vulnerable and older residents. Along with the fraud caseworkers in Sussex she continues to fund community initiatives that share in this determination.
“In counties like Sussex, it is the 75+ age group that has proved most vulnerable to scams as they may have substantial savings and can often be more trusting. I will continue to support community initiatives like this scam prevention service, helping to reduce social isolation in this age group and improve their sense of confidence and independence.
“I’m particularly impressed by Age UK’s mobile information and advice service which provides support to ‘harder to reach’ locations where older people may feel cut off from their wider communities and are more vulnerable to targeting from fraudsters.
“Victims of fraud and scams are very much victims of crime and we must continue to provide preventative measures to support and protect them being targeted in the future.”
Age UK East Sussex Head of Fundraising and Marketing David Hannam said:
“Age UK East Sussex is committed to supporting our most isolated and vulnerable older residents in the fight against scams by providing them with the right information and advice to protect themselves against criminals. We are delighted to be working with Sussex Police and others to ensure scams are seen and reported as crimes and victims are given the support they need.”