Older People, Scams and Fraud

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People lose an estimated £10bn to fraud every year. People of all ages and backgrounds are victims. However, older people are over- represented as victims of particular frauds, including pension and investment scams, postal scams, doorstep scams and telephone scams. Some older people are especially at risk, either because they are deliberately targeted or because they are vulnerable, for example if they are bereaved, lonely or living with dementia. The financial and health impacts can be devastating. Consider for example that people defrauded in their own homes are 2.5 times more likely to either die or go into residential care within a year.
OK, so I have made my point, but why has this come to my attention this week. Age UK and Action Fraud (who are the UK’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting centre), have joined forces to launch new pilot programme to combat scams targeting older Londoners. The new programme will initially be piloted in London with the aim of creating a prevention model that can be rolled out nationally. The programme aims to support older victims, and raise awareness of scams more widely to help empower older people to feel more confident at spotting and avoiding scams.
So I am not living anywhere near London. I am disappointed there is only one pilot site but happy that at least something is being done and thought, ‘I could do my bit to raise awareness particularly given the health consequences of being scammed.’ You can find out more about these from a great little Age UK booklet called “Older People Frauds and Scams” which you can download HERE, it was released in October 2017.
If you want to know more about the scams prevention and victim support pilot programme just click the blue link.
There is also a  video accompanying the new programme which you can access on this  Age UK News page
Which? on their elderly care pages also have a link to an advice guide and directory on their Scams and Older People page. There is also a nice little booklet from Citizens Advice Scotland from 2014; Called “Scammed and Dangerous: The Impact of Fraudsters” just in case you need to more about this problem and its impact up here in Scotland
Now all this information is no good just posted here so if you read this far, please share this with the people you know who will benefit. (That’s just about everyone!)

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What’s Happened to my Pension and the Myth of Weight Loss

Pension Form

Again this week I am picking two very disparate stories. One has been widely reported within the UK and one has received much less attention.

So firstly this week two separate reports for the government released this week suggest that millions of people are probably going to have to work longer to qualify for their UK state pension. While that is not a surprise, if you have been following world trends, UK demographics have attended any of my modules or follow this blog the speed at which it might happen and who might be affected probably will be. In a worst case scenario, planned changes which are not due to take effect until 2044, it could be brought in as soon as 2028, affecting those now in their late 50s. (Mind you the worst case scenario means that  you will be spending 32% of your adult life in retirement so clearly you will be expecting to live longer). The implications for the poorest, especially women as usual, are worrying. For a lot more information on UK Pensions, see this BBC news report, State pension age could be raised to 70

This month the Malnutrition Task Force also launched a Campaign aimed at older people with small appetites that focuses on keeping a healthy weight in later life.

As part of their campaign, the task force has also released two guides to tackling unhealthy weightloss. One is aimed at those in later life and the other at carers. They are packed with tips and advice on how to keep to a healthy weight in later life. For instance, did you know that if you have a small appetite, eating small meals or snacks six times a day may be more manageable than three big meals?

To find out more go to Malnutrition Task Force Small Appetite Campaign