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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