Anyone can fall prey to a scam, regardless of age, gender, education or economic background. The average age of victims is 74 as criminals tend to target older and often more vulnerable members of society. Scammers are organised, predatory criminals who gain trust to exploit and steal money. Over a three-month period, victims of scams in Sussex lost an average of £23,000 each.
- If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
- Never send money or give any money to anyone you do not know
- Check people are who they say they are
- Do not share your personal information
- Make decisions in your own time
- If in doubt phone a relative, friend or Sussex Police on 101
What is a cold call?
Cold calls are phone calls from companies trying to sell you something, even though they have had no business with you previously. Cold calls are not usually illegal and don’t necessarily count as a scam although they can be annoying, frustrating and even frightening.
Even though it won't necessarily block scammers, you can register for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to reduce the number of cold calls you receive.
To help avoid postal scams, you can also contact the Mailing Preference Service to have your name taken off direct mailing lists in the UK (this won’t cover mail that is not addressed or from overseas).
Pension cold-calling banned
Nuisance calls about pensions are now illegal. If you receive a cold call about your pension, report it to the Information Commissioner's Office online or by calling 0303 123 1113.
Reporting a scam
If you have been a victim of a scam, report it to the police and also contact Action Fraud. The information you give to Action Fraud can help track down the scammer. You can report the scam online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
For more information on how to protect yourself and loved ones from scams and fraud, please visit the national Age UK website.