Scams are ways of conning people to part with their cash. According to guidance issued by the Office of Fair Trading the common ones to look out for are:-
The cons above have several things in common, they are fake, they prey anyone - but the elderly and those who are vulnerable are more likely to be targeted, - and they are out to part you from your cash. But there is something more insidious about them as the above scams were just the start of the process for the people who become their victims because replying to just one scam can get you added to a 'suckers list'.
This is a list of the people who have replied to a scam and have shown themselves to be receptive. Receptive people can also be lonely and isolated or may be suffering from dementia or some other mental capacity, and it is likely that none of them will have seen the danger either because they are over-trusting or because they don't have the capacity to do so. Once they are on the 'suckers list' this give the scammers the green light to then target these people with more mailings and phone calls and victims can eventually be quite literally be hounded out of their life savings, health and peace of mind.
IIf you are vigilant and look for the signs you can help to stop people being scammed. The Office of Fair trading has published a list of warning signs and if you are caring for someone or visiting elderly relatives, keep your eyes open for any of these clues:-
Scammers are clever, unscrupulous people and anyone can become a victim unless they take steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim. According to the Office of Fair Trading these rules are:-
The Office of Fair Trading has produced a booklet entitled 'Can you stop the person you care for from being scammed, 'Don't let them con you' posters and bookmarks containing a reminder of the key messages on how to protect yourself. The bookmarks are intended for giving to a person you care for or your elderly friends and relatives to help increase their awareness of scams and information on how to protect themselves. You can order supplies of any of the items by phoning 0800 389 3158.
Anyone who suspects that someone is the victim of a scam, or an attempted scam or they have been the victim of a scam themselves, can contact Advice Guide for clear, practical advice. Visit their website at www.adviceguide.org.uk