Eyes down – Remember to Take Five! Fraud risk to over-65s is revealed as Scam Bingo game launches
Research conducted for UK Finance’s Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign shows that 87 per cent of over-65s say they are confident about spotting the signs of fraud, although only 20 per cent have heard of all the five most prevalent types of authorised push payment (APP) fraud. The survey showed that the average loss for a fraud victim in the UK is £1,381.
In response to this threat, Take Five has developed a free to play Scam Bingo game to help people learn about the most common types of fraud and scams. The game is available on the Take Five website and as part of the campaign, we have teamed up with Age UK to run bingo events at several local Age UKs across the country.
The new research shows that over half of over-65s (54 per cent) say that they always check whether a request for money or personal information is legitimate before responding to the request. However, criminals continue to target this age group.
For example, 37 per cent of over-65s believe they have been approached with a purchase scam, when a criminal convinces someone to buy goods or services that don’t exist. Similarly, 25 per cent believe they have been approached with an investment scam and 32 per cent with an advanced fee scam, when a criminal convinces a person to pay an upfront fee in order to receive a prize, service, high-value goods or a loan which never materialises.
Over a third (35 per cent) of over-65s think they are most likely to be approached by a criminal via an email, and over a fifth (23 per cent) say it is most likely to be via a phone call.
In contrast, just seven per cent say it is most likely a fraudster would contact them via a text message despite this being a common way for fraudsters to get in touch with potential victims.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance said: “While our research shows over-65s say they are confident about spotting fraud and scams, it is crucial to understand the changing tactics criminals use to convince people they are legitimate.
“That is why we’ve created Scam Bingo to empower people to challenge all unexpected requests for their information – it’s a fun way to connect and learn how to protect ourselves from fraud and scams. It is important to remember the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and to stop and think when faced with requests for payment or personal and financial information.”
Sally Dervan, CEO of Age UK Manchester said: “The Scams Prevention work that Age UK Manchester has been involved in over recent months has given us the opportunity to raise awareness of scams with older people and their carers across the city. Being the victim of a scam not only causes people to lose out financially, falling victim to a scam can have a long lasting effect on an individual’s confidence and wellbeing. The Scam Bingo event is a great opportunity to deliver information in a friendly and entertaining way that will give older people knowledge of current scams, and enable them to better protect themselves against this growing area of risk.”
Sue Holderness (73), best known for her role as Marlene Boyce in Only Fools and Horses, knows only too well how convincing criminal scammers can be. Sue lost money when criminals hijacked her computer and pretended to be tech people who were helping her regain access. Sue who is supporting the Take Five campaign says: “Criminals are so sophisticated with the tricks they use to panic you into sharing personal details, which under normal circumstances you never would disclose to a stranger! Your bank or any other legitimate organisation won’t try to rush you into making decisions, so if you’re feeling pressured by someone, taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe. Don’t feel embarrassed if you think you might have fallen for a scam, fraudsters can be incredibly convincing, but do protect yourself by contacting your bank immediately and reporting it to Action Fraud.”
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money. To help people stay safe, the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign advice is to:
- STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
- CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
- PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
The five most common types of APP scam are:
- Purchase scam – a type of fraud in which a criminal convinces you to buy a product/service that does not exist.
- Investment scam– a type of fraud in which a criminal convinces you to invest money in a fake or fictitious investment opportunity.
- Romance scam – a type of fraud in which a criminal creates a fake online identity to gain the trust and affection of someone, usually through a dating website or social media platform, with the goal of tricking them out of money.
- Advance Fee scam– a type of fraud in which a criminal convinces you to pay an upfront fee in order to receive a prize, service, high-value goods or loan which never materialises.
- Impersonation scam – a type of fraud in which a criminal impersonates a person, organisation or the police in order to trick you into handing over money or personal information.