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Santander Scam Avoidance School

Santander launched ‘Scam Avoidance School’ (SAS) for over 60s at all 806 branches across the UK in 2018.

Their research shows 82% of over 60s want more to be done to help them avoid scammers – Age UK stats suggest that 53 per cent of people aged 65+ have been targeted.

Former Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge, Len Goodman, 73, became the first graduate of the Scam Avoidance School

Following research among the over 60s to understand what really worries them about scams and fraud, alongside input from Dr Paul Seager, Psychology Professor at Lancashire University, a bespoke lesson plan was created for Santander branch staff to deliver to tens of thousands of over 60s.

The lesson, which includes interactive activities and a handout to take away, covers the tricks scammers use to reel people in, how to spot email and text scams as well as covering contactless fraud and cashpoint fraud – areas that the research highlighted as being a real concern to Over 60s.

Statistics

  • Two thirds of the Over 60s are worried about the threat of fraud and scams with 82 per cent thinking more should be done to educate them
  • More than 20% of Over 60s believe they have been approached more than 10 times by scammers in the last year
  • The average lost by Over 60s to scammers who had fallen victim was £401. Previous research from Santander revealed that older victims of scams will, on average, lose more than double that of younger age groups
  • While 95 % of Over 60s own a mobile phone and 96 per cent have a computer, around one in five avoid online banking for fear of being targeted by scammers

Among the 64 per cent of older people who are worried about the threat of scams, a range of factors were highlighted as making them particularly susceptible. The biggest of these were: being vulnerable because of illness or disability (74 per cent); being financially unaware (57 per cent) or simply being on their own (37 per cent).

Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Strategy at Santander’s UK, commented “We believe that education and public awareness is absolutely key to tackling what is currently one of the biggest threats to the security of people’s finances. We hope that with a little bit of scam-avoidance knowledge, our Over 60 pupils can feel empowered to stop scammers in their tracks.”

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The Pension Wise Service

https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk

In these days of pension fraud, if you’re over 55, it is wise to assess your pension situation using government advice.

The website Pension Wise was set-up by government to provide free advice

They say they can help you if:-

  • you are aged 50 or over
  • have a personal or workplace pension
  • want to make sense of your options

There is plenty of advice on the site from what happens if you live abroad to taxation to the different ways you can take money from your pension pot.

There’s also advice on how to avoid the pension scammers.

If you feel the need to talk to an expert, there are free calls of up to 60 minutes that can be booked.

If you need pension advice – this website is a good start.

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SCARS Act Against Scams Campaign

https://againstromancescams.org/

The Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams (SCARS) claims to represent more than 25,000 people, dedicated to changing the world of online fraud for the sake of everyone.  They have been running a large campaign across 2017 and 2018.

SCARS say they are committed to doing everything possible to eradicate the plague of online scams.

To support that goal, they have developed a campaign for 2017 / 2018 to enlist the public’s help in providing direct information in the local community. they are asking SCARS Members to begin organizing opportunities in their towns and communities to inform and expand awareness about romance scams and other forms of fraud.

SCARS asks those that are interested, once they are approved for participation in the Campaign, to contact local community organizations, from schools to civic groups, private clubs, and even work with your local police, to better educate your fellow residents about these severe crimes and how they affect us all.

SCARS will provide you with a complete training kit that will help you learn more, and that you will use in conducting these presentations. The materials are designed to provide a 30 to 45 minute presentation, and allow for additional time for questions and answers. This will make it easy to cover the right information, regardless of your knowledge or experience. This helps you make a huge difference in the safety of your local community.

The SCARS™ Act Against Scams™ Campaign Kit consists of:

  • Introduction Brochure – for attendees
  • Introduction graphics to promote your presentation (can be used on social media)
  • Introduction Video – to allow you to promote your presentation (cane be used on social media)
  • Official PowerPoint Presentation
  • Presenters’ Guide
  • How To Report Online Crime Guide
  • An Official SCARS Presenter ID Card

All of the above are provided for you without cost, for download by the Campaign participant, and can be emailed to the entity or organization that will host your presentation. If you are producing significant results, SCARS may provide additional materials, including signs, etc.

They will also provide support to promote your events, and a webpage where interested persons can sign up for your presentations. This will also provide a means for you to follow up with the attendees for your presentations, enabling future local victims’ support.

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