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Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans of Home Instead Senior Care in Sheffield.
In this instalment, I will be sharing some top tips for fighting senior fraud. Having partnered with national scam awareness charity, Think Jessica, Home Instead has launched a public education programme to educate older people on how to protect themselves from falling victim fraud.
Unfortunately, criminals who use email, telephone and post to steal their victims’ life savings, personal banking information and other assets, often prey in particular on the elderly as they see them as easy targets. Working with older people in our local community, we know all too well the devastating effects this can have on them, both financially and emotionally. Here are our top 5 fraud fighting tips:
1) Consider having a second set of eyes look over post and e-mails if you are unsure of the legitimacy of anything you receive.
2) Never divulge personal information or bank details in a call or e-mail which you did not expect or initiate – genuine callers, including your bank, will never ask for sensitive information over the phone or via e-mail.
3) Never send cash or money transfers to a stranger, even if it is to claim a ‘free prize’. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is!
4) Don’t be afraid to stop a caller if they are trying to sell something that is not wanted. Use phrases like “I never buy anything over the phone” or simply “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to hang up.”
5) A secure web address where you’re asked to enter personal information should always start: https://. Websites which start http:// (without the ‘s’) are not secure.
For more information about our Senior Fraud Protection campaign, please write to me at email@example.com or by post to Home Instead Senior Care, 6 Shirley House, 31 Psalter Lane, Sheffield, S11 8YL. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01142 507709 Bryn Evans