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Scams Prevention and Victim Support

The Scams Prevention and Victim Support programme aims to support older victims in London and raise awareness of scams more widely in order to help people feel more confident at being able to spot and avoid scams.


What is Scams Prevention and Victim Support?

Older people are particularly vulnerable to scams - 53% of people aged 65 or older have been targeted by scammers, and the average age of a victim has recently risen to 75. Being scammed can seriously affect quality of life and wellbeing, as victims can experience anxiety, embarrassment, depression, social isolation as well as a decline in health as a result. 

Our objectives for this project are to:

  • raise awareness of scams and the ways in which they can be reported
  • empower older people to feel safer, more secure and more confident
  • prevent older victims of fraud from becoming repeat victims
  • assess whether older people who have reported crimes to Action Fraud benefit from Age UK’s support and advice
  • create a model of joint working between the police force and a charity to be replicated in other parts of the UK.

Remember S.C.A.M.S

Veteran broadcaster Sir Marytn Lewis is helping Age UK raise awareness of doorstep scams and tells you what you can do to avoid them. 


How does the programme work?

The programme works with four selected local Age UK partners in the London area, who deliver the following activities:

Group events to raise awareness

  • Group activity involving presentations and workshops on scams awareness and prevention.
  • These events are open to wide audiences including older people, their friends, families and people working in organisations that have regular contact with vulnerable older people (e.g. housing associations, care providers, GPs and local authority social services teams).

One-to-one sessions to raise awareness 

  • Delivered in the homes of older people, an Age UK Advisor makes a one-off home visit to older people who are considered vulnerable and at risk (for example they live alone, are isolated, have pre-existing health conditions, have mobility issues and are therefore unable to get to events).
  • They may have been a target of scam mail and/or doorstep callers but are not thought to be responding. 

One-to-one support for victims of scams 

  • Aimed at older victims who are currently or have recently been responding to scams
  • Delivered over a number of home visits, an Age UK Advisor provides comprehensive one-to-one support, including on-going advice on scams prevention and how to stop responding, accessing other local support services, such as befriending and community activities as well as support with maximising income.  

Age UK is working in partnership with the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice at Bournemouth University in order to provide a bespoke training package for local Age UK Scams Advisors. Several co-branded resources have also been produced, which serve as useful reminders to help protect older people against scams. 

The selected local Age UK partners will receive referrals from Action Fraud, including the details of older people who have reported that they have been targeted by scammers and would like to receive additional support from their local Age UK.

Local Age UK partners will also work with local organisations to identify vulnerable older people to receive specialist support and advice via group awareness-raising events and one to one home visits. 

Worried about scams?

We provide information and advice to help you spot and avoid the latest scams targeting your money.


Where is the programme running?

This pilot, based in London, will run between 5 February 2018 and 1 February 2019. The following Age UKs will be delivering the service:

Contact one of these local delivery partners or email us at adviceunit@ageuk.org.uk for more information. 

An external research team will be evaluating the success of the programme. In the future, it is hoped that this pilot will act as a springboard for a nation-wide approach to scams, enabling us to tackle a growing crisis.  


Useful resources

Scams Prevention and Victim Support toolkit

You can download the Scams Prevention and Victim Support toolkit produced in partnership with Bournemouth University. The toolkit provides comprehensive information about scams. 

Scams Prevention and Victim Support toolkit

Please also feel free to make use of this resource for training purposes within your community or with relevant organisations. 

Friends Against Scams free online training

Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to 'Take a Stand Against Scams’.

The basic Friends Against Scams online training session will help you gain an understanding of the various types of scams and scale of the problem. If you wish to further your learning you can also complete the more in-depth practitioner e-learning package. This course offers a comprehensive overview including topics such as criminal motivations and techniques, understanding the law and its application to scams as well as providing advice on how to help a scam victim. 

If someone you know is inundated with scam mail and would like to help assist in stopping scammers by sharing their own experiences they should think about becoming a Scam Marshal

You can also download our free Avoiding scams information guide.

Our partners

This project is funded by the City Bridge Trust and works in partnership with Action Fraud and Bournemouth University.



For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 055 6112.
We’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

 

Last updated: Oct 31 2018

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