Age UK

Scams Prevention and Victim Support in London

At our June 2017 Committee Meeting the Trust agreed to fund a new project to protect older people from scams and cyber-crime. This is being funded through a Strategic Initiative grant of £337,000 to Age UK.

Cyber-fraud and telephone scams are a rising area of criminal activity across the country. The elderly are particular targets with 55% of people aged 65 or older having been targeted by ‘scammers’ and the average age of victims has recently risen to 75. Age UK estimates that half a million older people could have lost their savings to criminals.

The Scams Prevention and Victim Support initiative in London is a partnership between Age UK and Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre run by the City of London Police.

The initiative, which will run in four London boroughs in partnership with local Age UK branches, will identify the most effective measures to prevent older people being the victim of fraud and provide support for people in particularly vulnerable circumstances through awareness raising sessions and give one-to-one support.

The project will have two main elements:

  • Tackling the increasing number of older people becoming victims of frauds and scams. This will be achieved through information sessions run through in local communities, consisting of individual and group sessions, using a variety of resources such as films, information guides and other printed resources. These events will raise awareness about common telephone and web-based scams. They will also provide advice on what to do if you’re unsure whether something is genuine or if you think you may have been a victim.
  • Support for existing victims of fraud, both to help them regain their confidence but also to prevent them from succumbing to the follow-up scams which commonly occur. This work is vital to prevent older victims of crime from experiencing a long-term effect on their health and well-being, on top of the financial impact that they may have already suffered.

The project will benefit around 2,100 older people over 18 months and will create a model for prevention and working with victims of fraud that could be potentially rolled out across the whole of the UK.