Given that at least 3.2 million people in the UK are scammed financially every year, it is a message that can’t be shared too often.
Whether it is on the doorstep, telephone, mail, or online, it can happen to anyone. However, elderly people living on their own or caring for others are at higher risk and more likely to be targeted by criminals.
A recent AMA on the Care Community with Professor Keith Brown, Director of the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice at Bournemouth University, revealed some top tips for keeping yourself and others safe from financial scammers:
Always be aware – think scam! If you suspect something could be a scam or just want assurance that the people you are speaking to are who they say they are, call the company directly. Never dial a phone number or reply to an email you suspect has been sent by a scammer.
Remember that scammers are not fools: They will use sophisticated methods and spend large sums of money targeting people, as they can make significantly more money back from their victims.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is: Be aware of being hoodwinked or conned into a position where you feel you are buying goods or services at prices which are below the norm. It is likely to be a scam.
Talk to your nearest and dearest: This is especially important if you have been scammed. Anyone can get scammed, and you should never feel embarrassed. By telling your story it might help others and allow your loved ones to provide you with support now and in the future.
Use a password app: A secure password app will safely manage all your passwords (there may be a small cost for this). Smartphones and tablets are also more secure than using your laptop via wifi due to their end-to-end encryption making it more difficult to hack into.
Power of attorney: Appointing one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf can help protect the finances of you or vulnerable loved ones
You can see all the questions carers asked Keith and his answers on the Care Community.
The community is a place for anyone caring for someone to ask questions and help other people going through a similar experience.