Take Five, Tell Five in Over 65s

Continuing on from my previous Take Five blog posts and inline with Take Five Week let’s have a chat about how we can warn others about potential scams especially in the over 65s age category. The thought of a scammer targeting an older person is just so wrong on many levels but it happen all too often. People over the age of 65 are more likely to be targeted than any other individual and the reason this is increasing is due to many factors including the decline in health, the internet and smart phone technology. As more and more over 65s go online, this then increases the chances of fraudulent activity and opens up the potential risk of being scammed even further. As discussed in my previous blog posts here and here anyone can become a victim of fraud but it’s the older community who seem to be  targeted in particular with most research pointing suggesting it’s because many scammers believe they will be more trusting and have more money then a younger individual.

To align with the campaign I took ‘Five to Tell Five’ this week and spoke to five over 65s to see what their understanding of scams were. We also discussed their experiences of fraud, if it had ever happened to them and how they overcome the situation. Once the interview had finished I got them all to take the ‘Too Smart To Be Scammed Test’ which can be found here  if you would like to give it a go. The results were pretty interesting… Here are a few examples of our conversations.

Geoffrey, 68, Richmond

Have you ever been a victim of fraud or received a fraudulent email/text?

No I’ve never been a victim of fraud but I have received a fraud email and text. I just delete them straight away.

What scams are you aware of?

Inland revenue emails

Amazon email asking you to claim your voucher

Paypal credit email

What would you do if you were scammed?

I would phone the bank and take advice from them and then go onto to cancel my cards. I’d basically just follow their advice and follow procedures.

Are you paranoid about being scammed?

Absolutely yes! If I’m completely innocent of a scam I need the banks to be onside with me and wanting to help.

Do you think more needs to be done to help the over 65s with scams and scam prevention?

Let’s say over 40s. There’s a whole generation who need educating. There’s a lot of acceptance and people trusting people. I think the Take Five campaign is a brilliant way of making people aware of all the scams that are out there and what they should do instead of giving out personal information.

Geoffrey took the Too Smart To Be Scammed Test and scored 6/8

Jane, 67, London

Have you ever been a victim of fraud?

Yes

Can you tell me a little bit more about what happened.

I was trying to book a holiday online when I came across a really good deal. I quickly made the purchase of our holiday but stupidly didn’t look into the website I was buying from. To cut a long story short I lost all my money, which was thousands through a dodgy website. I basically handed over my money willing to a fraudster.

Were you happy with the way your bank handled everything?

They couldn’t really do much as I transferred the funds, I lost all my money. It wasn’t the banks fault just my stupidity to such a well thought out scam.

What steps do you now take to avoid being scammed?

I always make sure I double check where I’m purchasing from online. For example I will now only ever purchase a holiday from a reputable company that is known in the holiday market.

What scams are you aware of?

Emails the tax refund one. I actually clicked onto the link in the email and they were asking for my mother’s maiden name and I thought hold on the taxman wouldn’t ask those questions so I came out of the email and deleted it.

Are you now paranoid about being scammed?

I’m more aware but I wouldn’t say paranoid.

Do you think more needs to be done to help the over 65s with scams and scam prevention?

Yes

What would you suggest?
I’m not too sure. Maybe a class or a course. The Take Five campaign is a good start and has definitely spread the word out there.

Jane took the Too Smart To Be Scammed Test and scored an impressive 8/8

I then finally spoke with Jonathan, 75, from London

Have you ever been a victim of fraud?

Yes

Can you tell me a little bit more about what happened.

I clicked onto a very convincing email that said I had made a transaction with Amazon. Because I didn’t make the transaction I continued through all the steps in the email and entered in all my personal details and clicked send.

How did you realise money was missing from your account?

I went to use my card the next day and the money was gone and I couldn’t complete the desired transaction.

What did you next?

I contacted my bank to tell them that money had been taken out of my account without me knowing. I then answered a few questions with them and they went off and did what ever it is banks do.

How long did it take for the money to return back to your account?

Around 4 days.

Were you happy with the way your bank handled everything?

Yes very quick and efficient but I wasn’t very happy it was able to happen in the first place if I’m honest.

How did being scammed make you feel?

Frustrated, annoyed and unsafe. I now feel like it could happen at anytime.

What steps do you now take to avoid being scammed?

I now always double check where the emails originated from and never enter any of personal details. I feel safest contacting the company directly myself

What scams are you aware of?

Telephone scams, email scams, text messages, people taking your details when you pay in a shop, people taking your post  and using your details for credit cards and loans.

Do you think more needs to be done to help the over 65s with scams and scam prevention?

Yes

What would you suggest?
Communication is key and not feeling ashamed to ask for help especially with friends and family members. I’m an old man so all this new technology is quite overwhelming. The help is very much appreciated.

Jonathan took the Too Smart To Be Scammed Test and scored 7/8

The overall consensus from the interviews I conducted was that their knowledge of potential scams was pretty good. The over 65s however seemed extremely trusting and needed a lot of guidance when actually faced with being scammed.

What can we do to help an elderly person or relative:

I think it is really important to handle the situation with due care as it’s a rather sensitive topic. Elderly relatives and friends like to have their own independence so we don’t want to offend them in any way. Instead of going in all guns blazing, going through their post, emails etc its all about having a calm conversation discussing all the various scams out there and how to tackle each one. It’s not just the elderly who are conned and we’ve all been there once a upon a time so lets share knowledge, help and warn others about potential fraud and scams. I also think it would be handy using the Take Five website to refer to as there’s some really good advice on there free of charge.

Has your elderly relative or friend ever been scammed? How did you warn them about potential scams?

This post is in support with Take Five as always my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own
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