Keeping older people in Wales safe from scams will be the subject of a major debate in Cardiff today.
Chaired by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, the meeting will highlight the need for better protection for older and vulnerable people from scams and doorstep crime.
Older people in Wales hand over millions of pounds a year to scammers who use the telephone, mail, the internet and face to face on the doorstep to defraud them.
The Trading Standards Institute estimates that direct mail scams alone cost victims between £5 - £10bn a year.
More than 50,000 people in the UK frequently send off money to fake lotteries, fake psychics and other scammers.
The meeting has been organised by the Wales Against Scams Partnership (WASP) at the Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff and is co-hosted by Age Cymru.
It will include representatives from the public sector and private companies who will aim to create a partnership strategy with the mission of making Wales a safer place for older people and a hostile place for scammers.
Sarah Rochira said:
“As Commissioner, I am committed to working with Age Cymru and other organisations to protect older people in Wales from scams.
"Older people are targeted as they are seen as vulnerable and trustworthy.
“The result of being scammed can have a devastating impact on their lives, both financially and emotionally, and this simply cannot be allowed to continue.”
WASP chair Ian Thomas, Chief Executive of Age Cymru, said:
“Our Scams and Swindles Campaign over the past 18 months has helped to push the protection of older people against scams up the agenda.
“Now we would like to see a national partnership of public and private sector organisations who all play their part in reducing the number of scam victims.
“We must do more to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”