Scams Awareness Project

Lady behind door  

Project volunteers help older people with Dementia and their carers to recognise scams

Age Cymru is funded by Comic Relief to deliver this groundbreaking pilot project in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society over the next 2 years.
Trained and supported volunteers will deliver short awareness sessions to older people with dementia and their carers about scams, empowering them to take preventative action.  

Scams can have a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of older people. It is important that people who are vulnerable understand what a scam is and what to do if they think they may have been targeted.


Between February 2012 and February 2013 over 2500 incidences of older people being scammed were reported in Wales. The victims of these criminal acts can be affected in many ways, and some suffer with mental and physical health problems, such as a loss of confidence and self worth and experiencing depression and anxiety.

The scams awareness project is funded by Comic Relief for two years from July 2013 and is part of the Safeguarding Team at Age Cymru.  The safeguarding programme has been raising awareness of scams and the impact they have on older people for the last six years.  Part of that awareness raising was the development of a scams toolkit which included a door hanger.  To date over 30,000 have been distributed to older people across Wales.
The evidence gathered by the project has also led Age Cymru to develop a specific policy campaign on scams and swindles which launched in June 2013.  The aim of this campaign is to convince the UK and Welsh Governments and communication companies to increase the protection afforded to older people from scams.

Evidence also indicated that more direct work with older people was required to make them aware of scams and to empower them to say no to mail, telephone and doorstep scams.  People with dementia are particularly vulnerable to these types of scams.  This project focuses on people with dementia and their carers and seeks to take a preventative approach.

The project

The scams awareness project aims to help protect older people with dementia from financial-based scams in the local authority areas of Conwy, Denbighshire, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf in year one, and extending to Monmouthshire and Gwynedd in year two.  These areas were chosen because of their high proportion of older residents and an associated high frequency of dementia.  These areas are also associated with economic deprivation or rural isolation.

The project will recruit volunteers in each area, who will receive training in awareness of scams and dementia.

The volunteers will deliver workshops, in pairs, to older people with dementia and their families/carers.  The sessions will provide practical information and resources to help make the participants aware of tactics employed by scammers and empower them to protect themselves.
The volunteers will be recruited and supported by two part-time Project Officers who were appointed in July 2013.  The Project Officer for North Wales is Dawn Evans and the South Wales Project Officer is Rosalyn Williams.

Louise Hughes, Safeguarding Manager has overall responsibility for managing the project and can be contacted on

The evidence

The Alzheimer's Society published a report called 'Short Changed:  Protecting people with dementia from financial abuse', in 2012

– 40% of older people in the UK with dementia are regularly targeted by scam mail some of whom have lost money by entering competitions.
– 15% had been approached by rogue traders or had unnecessary work done.
– 70% were routinely targeting by rogue traders over the telephone.
– 62% had been approached by cold callers or doorstep sales people.


Local volunteers will be supported and trained to deliver awareness sessions about how to identify scams and take preventative action.
Volunteers will deliver the sessions in pairs in pre organised venues.  Ongoing support will be provided by the Project Officers. Additional support will be available through peer networking opportunities organised by the project officers.  This will enable volunteers to speak to others about the sessions they have delivered, to celebrate the outcomes from the project, and to share issues or challenges that may have arisen.
Volunteers will be required to attend 2 days induction and training.  The training will include sessions on dementia, scams, safeguarding older people and skills on how to deliver the sessions.  Volunteer expenses will be paid for associated travel costs.

Could you be a volunteer for us?

Are you a professional that would like more information or get involved with the project?

Contact us

Dawn Evans,                                                 Ros Williams
North Wales Project Officer                          South Wales Project Officer                     
Telephone: 01352 706228                             Telephone: 029 2043 1552

Useful information to download

opens link in new window  Age Cymru Scams Door Hanger (PDF 150kb)

opens link in new window Age Cymru A4 Information Card (PDF 158kb)

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