Advice to elderly to avoid scams and fraudsters

Due to the current climate, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world and there have been lots of new scams cropping up that exploits this.

Elderly scams

Recent scams have included medical kits that aim to prevent or cure Coronavirus and counterfeit or unsafe medical supplies such as hand sanitiser and swabbing kits. There’s also been a rise in financial scams including phone calls from people pretending to be banks or mortgage providers.

The old fashioned online and doorstep scams, such as people posing as charity collectors or salesmen and phishing emails, are also still prevalent, so people should always be alert.

Everyone should be aware of potential scams. It is extremely important that people, particularly the elderly, understand that their bank or mortgage provider would never phone and ask for personal details or money.

If you or an elderly loved-one receives a knock at the door from anyone you don’t know, you should ask for ID, or if you are not expecting anyone, simply don’t answer it. Especially during the current social distancing restrictions.

There are lots of genuine volunteers providing food and essentials for the elderly and vulnerable at the moment. They should provide ID or should be a trusted family member or friend.

Everyone should be wary of unexpected emails and don’t click on links in attachments. Always go to the organisation’s website to check correct information and contact details. Unsolicited texts asking about an accident or PPI and emails requesting money be sent abroad are becoming a regular occurrence for mobile and internet users. Ignore and delete immediately.

You can register phones via the Telephone Preference Service and stop unwanted mail via the Mail Protection Service.

Most importantly, you should trust your instincts. If anyone makes an offer that is simply too good to be true, it probably is and therefore is probably a scam.

If you can, look out for signs of neighbours in your community being targeted by doorstep criminals.