September 2016 Speaker
The Chairperson, Avis Thompson introduced the speaker for the meeting, Amanda Phipps, who works for “Home instead Senior Care” an organisation that works to support elderly people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. An area of concern for ‘Home Instead’ is the exposure of vulnerable people to fraudsters many of whom deliberately target the older generation. The “motto” - ‘Remember Jessica’ - is used by the company to remind people to be wary. Jessica was an elderly lady, who was defrauded of thousands of pounds by fraudsters, who had convinced her that they were her friends. Amanda went onto talk about a selection of frauds that had been used e.g.
1 You are eligible for a rebate,
2 You have received an inheritance from abroad.
3 I represent your bank. You have a problem on your Bank card, but not to worry, we will send a courier to collect it and return it.
4 You have a problem with your computer which we will solve for you.
5 You qualify for special catalogue offers if you provide your bank details and pin number.
6 We have a special offer on solar panels (or whatever)
Amanda pointed out that sometimes scammers pose as charity workers, so always check their identity badges. She added you should never let unknown persons into your home, especially if there is more than one. While one is occupying you in one room, the other can rifle through private papers.
Of course private papers should always be shredded when no longer required, preferably with a cross-shredder, especially items like bank statements.
Amanda added there is help at hand. The Telephone Preference Service provides a level of security against unwanted phone calls which try to prevent you with special offers you cannot refuse. Help is also provided by the Police, Citizens Advice Bureau and Crime Agencies. Additionally those with computers might like to look at Age UK website at www.ageuk.org.uk//moneymatters.
Amanda talked individually to a number of members who had been targeted by fraudsters. She reported afterwards that she had been told of four scams that she had not encountered before. It was certainly a talk that gave much food for thought. The chairperson gave a vote of thanks to Amanda which was well-endorsed by members.