A new Age UK survey has found that 53% of older people (aged 65+) believe they have been targeted by fraudsters. While that many do not respond - of those who do, 70% of all age groups said that they had personally lost money.
The survey of over 1000 people by Age UK also revealed that a third of older people who responded to a scam may have lost £1,000 or more.
Half of those over 65 said that they had received a phone, call, text or letter that they believe to have been part of a scam and over percent of them said that they hadn’t reported it.
The report from Age UK highlights the tactics used by fraudsters, including befriending or `grooming’ potential victims and isolating them from friends and family, the use of seemingly professional documentation and official-looking websites, impersonating a bank or the police and even threats and intimidation.
With the new pension freedoms coming into force this week, the Charity is warning that people over 55, who will now have access to large pots of pension savings, are likely to be increasingly targeted by fraudsters carrying out a whole range of scams.
The Charity warns that being the victim of a scam can have serious consequences for people’s physical and mental health, as well as their relationships and finances. Some victims’ health deteriorates quickly after a scam and in the worst cases has even resulted in older people losing their independence and needing residential care.
Age UK is currently working with Action Fraud as well as other agencies to increase awareness of fraud and cyber crime and the levels of sophistication involved, so that people feel equipped to challenge and report it.
Read more on the AgeUK website.
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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.