Knowsley Older People's Voice

Avoiding Scams

We use the word ‘scam’ to indicate a dishonest or fraudulent scheme designed to cheat someone. Older people can present an attractive target for scammers for a number of reasons:

  • they are more likely to have savings than younger people
  • they are of a generation which is more likely to accept people as genuine and honest
  • those who are isolated may not have anyone to whom they can mention or go for advice
  • they may be lonely and welcome any opportunity to talk

Scams are big business, viagra sales sometimes operated by international gangs involved in organised crime, or equally by local opportunists. For these reasons they are very difficult to spot, and even professional bodies such as the police and Office of Fair Trading (OFT) can find it difficult to trace and prosecute those involved. There is some evidence to suggest that once an individual has responded to one scam, their details may be circulated to other scammers, resulting in increased scam mailings and telephone calls.

Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of being a victim of scams if you know what to look for.

Scams checklist:

  • Was the offer usolicited?
  • Are you being pressured to respond quickly? What’s the rush?
  • Do you have to pay for a prize or ‘free gift’?
  • Do you have to ring a premium rate number number?
  • Are you being asked for your bank or credit card details?
  • Is the business reluctant to give you its address or contact details?
  • Are you being asked to keep the offer confidential?

A free brochure called ‘How to avoid scams’ is available from Age UK (follw the link below)

How to avoid scams

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KOPV is a formally constituted body & has a Steering group of 12 elected members responsible for planning & delivering the work of KOPV on behalf of its members