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Age Cymru and South Wales Police join forces to combat scams against older people

Published on 30 January 2019 01:21 PM

Age Cymru has joined forces with South Wales Police to help combat scams against older people in the region.

The charity's own research estimates that more than 150,000 older people in Wales are scammed each year. Our research also shows that older people are scammed for greater amounts than any other age group with an average of £1, 200 each. The scams, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated, can target older people via the doorstep, telephone, internet, or mail order and sometimes even a combination of these services.

As part of the partnership, the charity's information and advice officers will receive training from the force's Crime Prevention Unit Advisors on how to identify and support an older person they suspect is being targeted by scammers, as well as sharing information on the latest techniques being deployed. The charity's staff can also alert the force about individuals they believe may benefit from a reassuring visit by a local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).

The charity also found that many older people feel embarrassed about being scammed so keep quiet about the incident, often suffering in silence, and thereby enable the scammer to move on to their next victim.

Age Cymru's Chief Executive, Victoria Lloyd says: "We're delighted to set up this partnership with South Wales Police as it will help us to keep up to date with the latest techniques adopted by scammers and provide the necessary support older people need to either avoid or recover from scams.

"We also want to urge older people to tell someone if they have been scammed and to not suffer in silence. Many of these scammers are professional criminals deploying sophisticated techniques so anyone of any age could fall prey to their activities.

"Either call us, the police, trading standards or even a friend or neighbour so we can provide the support you need and help us prevent the scammer from targeting other older people."

South Wales Police's Inspector Cheryl Griffiths, responsible for communities and partnerships in Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan, said: "Scam calls are very distressing to those who are targeted which is why we are working with Age Cymru, as well as banks and local authorities, as part of Operation Signature to stamp this out and bring these offenders to justice.

"The majority of scams which we deal with are reported by third parties. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of fraud to please report it to us so we can act and prevent further people falling foul to fraudsters.

"Organisations such as the police, banks or HMRC, will never ask for personal details or ask you to transfer money to designated accounts. Please look out for your loved ones; if they receive a lot of post, if their phone is often ringing, or if they are secretive about their finances, you can report your suspicions to Action Fraud, or ring the police on 101."

Ends.

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