Almost 5 million people aged 65 and over in the UK believe they have been targeted by scammers (TNS Research Express polling for Age UK, June/July 2017). Within this group, 12% responded to the scam, meaning around half a million older people may have fallen victim to a scam. The National Trading Standards Scams Team report that the average age of postal fraud victims in 2017 was 75 years.
Unfortunately, older people are often targeted for scams, and so it’s important to be aware of the signs of a potential scam in order to protect yourself, a friend or a family member.
Being asked to make an immediate decision
You should never feel pressured to make an immediate decision about a purchase or an offer. This is often a sign of a scam, trying to have you part with your money or give your details without allowing you time to consider.
Being asked for personal details
You should always be weary about giving any personal details to those you aren’t certain are asking for legitimate reasons from legitimate businesses. Always take the time to verify that your giving details to who you think you are.
A deal that seems too good to be true
Often scammer will try to convince you to part with your personal details or a sum of money in exchange for a windfall or some prize. You should always be cautious of someone offering a prize or a windfall of money unexpectedly.
Emails with attachments and links
Always be cautious of opening any suspicious links and attachments in emails, email addresses and links can be masked to appear legitimate. By clicking a link or opening an attachment from a scam email malware can be installed onto your computer and harvest your person information, as well as resending the email to those in your contacts. If you suspect you’ve opening a link or attachment like this you should disconnect the device from the internet, change all of your log ins and passwords, and scan your computer for malware.
Find out more about how to identify scams and what to do if you think you have been scammed on Friends Against Scams website.