Fraud

Your home is where you should feel the safest. However, scammers have continually found devious methods to invade security by targeting people, more often than not seniors through online activities, post and phone.

Although any individual could fall victim to fraud, more often than not, scammers target the elderly as they’re more likely to be receptive to the scammer’s opportunist advances.

To help protect yourself or loved ones, we encourage you to start conversations around money and methods to protect your wallet and identity.

What are the different types of scams?

Online scams
Where attempts are made to gain personal information through email phishing, or scammers pretending to be someone they’re not to gain trust.

Phone scams
Scammers call pretending to be a reputable company and will ask you to ‘confirm’ your personal details such as your date of birth or passwords.

Postal scams
These methods often include claims that you’ve won a prize, or requesting you send money to made-up charities.

SMS scams
Similar to phone scams, but with text messages encouraging people to open suspicious links designed to steal personal or financial information.

Tips to protect yourself from fraud

Does the communication sound too good to be true?
Unfortunately, a common tactic of scammers is to contact you saying you’ve won an ‘offer of a lifetime’ prize. Making you forget in the excitement if this claim is legitimate or not. If the communication sounds too good to be true, especially if you haven’t entered any competitions, then it probably is fake.

Never give away your personal information
Unless you have initiated the contact with a reputable company. If you’re contacted asking for personal information such as your PIN, account information or passwords, be wary. Use caution and if you’re concerned end contact and reach out to the company that the scammer was claiming to be from for confirmation.

Take your time
If you are pressured into making a decision, this is a big warning sign. Always take your time and do your research to ensure you’re confident with your decision. Scammers typically use pressure techniques to rush you into making rash decisions. Reputable companies will never rush you, they will give you time to make a fully informed decision.

Keep your personal data safe
Ensure you shred all contact or receipts with your personal information on. Such as a bank statement, if you wish to throw it away, the safest way to do this is to shred the document to keep your information protected. You should also protect yourself online by using secure passwords and making sure websites are safe and reputable before entering your details or purchasing items.

Review the contact
Is it full of spelling and grammar errors? Is the contact from an unverified address? Any contact you receive that is full of errors is most likely a scam. Reputable companies will never make glaring mistakes in their communications.

Have you been contacted out of the blue?
Be suspicious of ‘companies’ that reach out to you offering bank accounts, advice or traders, for example. If you are looking for a service, new accounts or advice, reach out yourself. Ask trusted friends or family for recommendations and be the first to make contact with companies.

Double check with a trusted individual
If you’re still uncertain about suspicious activity, ask a trusted individual or family member to review it for you. In particular, ignore requests from scammers that ask you should keep the contact private. This is a red flag; it is best practise to ask a trusted individual to double check and ensure your security.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

Don’t panic, try your best to document what has happened. Save all the communications that have occurred.
Contact your bank and tell them what’s happened, they have dedicated fraud teams who can help you.
Finally, report the fraud to the Action Fraud team, the UK’s fraud reporting centre.

It is important to stay vigilant and have measures in place to protect yourself from fraud. Have conversations with trusted individuals of what measures you’re going to put in place and feel comfortable discussing concerns. We can all be victims of fraud and with clever tactic’s scammers use, it is nothing to be ashamed of if it does happen to you. It’s best to be aware of your risks and help those around you to stay protected too.

Our care team is fully trained to assist with admin tasks and can help you protect yourself from fraud. Get in touch if you’re worried or would like to learn more about our services.

Fraud
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