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Published on 23 September 2010 11:30 AM

Don’t fall victim to scams warns Age Cymru and Western Power Distribution


Age Cymru has teamed up with electricity business Western Power Distribution (WPD) to produce a scams awareness toolkit for older people.

The toolkit is funded by WPD and contains a card with the top 10 tips on how to avoid being scammed, particularly over the telephone.

It also contains a door hanger which can be hung on the front door to remind older people how to avoid being scammed by cold callers and junk mail.

Scams and cons can take many different forms – from letters promising you a payout if you send a made-up company an ‘administration fee’ to release your winnings, to emails claiming to be from your bank threatening to close your account unless you send them your bank details, as well as cold callers demanding money for work that may never get completed.

Age Cymru’s Elder Abuse Manager, Louise Hughes, explains:

“This toolkit will help older people to identify if they are being targeted by scammers and give them the confidence to be able to deal with these situations effectively.

“We are extremely grateful to WPD for working with us on this project.”

WPD’s Network Services Manager for Wales, Phil Davies says:

“We hope our support will help to provide some very helpful information and advice for elderly people. This type of crime is despicable and can have a huge impact on vulnerable people.”

He said all WPD staff carry identity cards that include a photograph and a phone number that can be called for verification.

If you want a scams toolkit for yourself or an older family member, friend or neighbour, please contact Age Cymru on 029 2043 1555.

10 top tips to avoid being scammed:

• If it seems too good to be true, it generally is too good to be true;
• If you haven’t entered a competition, you can’t have won a large cash prize;
• People who are genuine do not ask for money in advance;
• If you are unsure, or it doesn’t feel right, don’t respond – throw it away, hang up the phone and don’t reply to texts or emails;
• Nothing bad will happen if you don’t send a so-called psychic any money. They send the same letter to thousands of people telling them the same thing;
• Offers of large amounts of money from abroad are only made to get you to send them to your bank and personal details so they can steal from your account;
• Speak to a friend, relative, local Age Concern or Consumer Direct if you are concerned about mail you have received;
• If you are being pressurised to buy on the telephone it is okay to say no and put the phone down;
• Responding to one item of scam mail can and usually does result in up to a hundred items of this kind of mail being sent directly;
• Reduce the scams you receive – join the Telephone Preference Service and the Mailing Preference Service (listed in your telephone directory);



For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444