Patricia Donald

Police in new warning as scammers target elderly

FRESH calls for caution have been issued in the wake of a scamming spree across the region. 
In September alone the PSNI have reported sixty occasions where money has been lost by members of the public, the stark total monetary value of which sits at £443,650 for the month.
Pensioners have been identified as one of the more vulnerable groups with pension scam victims reportedly losing £91,000 on average of life savings. 
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Pensions Regulator have remarked on how convincing pension schemes can be and the difficulty that surrounds determining which companies are legitimate and which aren’t.
This sentiment was echoed by Patricia Donald, chairman of the South West Ageing Partnership. 
“The trouble with online scams is that they come in looking very authentic, but if you can spot a scam then you can stop a scam.” she said.
“If any emails ask for your bank card or account details don’t fill it in. Ring your supplier directly, not using any number a potential scammer might give you.
“There’s a few scams going round at the moment. I have heard of scammers pretending to be from BT or Inland Revenue. 
“If someone rings and tells you that your phone will be cut off, and this is the only means by which you can communicate with your family, well then you will be frightened. 
“In panic you could do something, but take time and ring your supplier to check.” 
Patricia added that the South West Ageing Partnership is there to help and support those who face issues like scamming fears and are available at the other end of the phone to help address issues that the older generation may have. 
A spokesman for PSNI also advised those who were uncertain about potential scam attempts to check. 
“Remember if you are not expecting the email or text, think before you click on the link or send details or money,” he said. 
“If you think you may have been scammed, contact your bank / card issuer etc and let them know. They can give great advice and help prevent loss.”

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