A QUARTER (25%) of Welsh adults have been the victims of telephone frauds, online scams, credit card rackets, doorstep deceptions or holiday hoaxes.
That’s according to statistics issued today by Age Cymru.
The survey also reveals that:
• Almost half (46%) of Welsh adults have received post, a phone call or an email which they thought was part of a scam;
• A third of Welsh adults (33%) were targeted by postal, phone or email scams last year;
Age Cymru Elder Abuse Programme Manager, Louise Hughes says:
“These figures clearly demonstrate how widespread frauds and scams have become in Wales.
“They give a valuable insight into the many different types of frauds and scams - from online, credit card and the telephone scams that criminals use to target people.
“According to the Office of Fair Trading, over £3.5 billion is lost by UK consumers to scams each year and knowing about the tactics that criminals use can help us protect ourselves from becoming a victim.”
Age Cymru is today reminding older people about how protect themselves from scams by issuing the following top tips:
1. If it seems too good to be true, it generally is too good to be true;
2. If you haven’t entered a competition, you can’t have won a large cash prize;
3. People who are genuine do not ask for money in advance;
4. 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;
5. 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;
6. Offers of large amounts of money from abroad are only made to get you to send them your bank and personal details so they can steal from your account;
7. Speak to a friend, relative, local Age Concern or Consumer Direct if you are concerned about mail you have received;
8. If you are being pressurised to buy on the telephone it is okay to say no and put the phone down;
9. 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;
10. Reduce the scams you receive – join the Telephone Preference Service and the Mailing Preference Service (listed in your telephone directory);
A free information guide called ‘Avoiding scams – smart ways to protect yourself’ is available by contacting Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65.