Sunday, January 17, 2021

Scammers Seek Out Seniors As Fraud Cases Surge

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With around 90% of all crimes committed against over 65s being fraud-related and a third of elderly people too ashamed to ask for help. Equifax has devised a interactive infographic to create awarenes about people with vulnerabilities been targeted by scammers.

Key Points

  • 90% of all crimes committed against over 65s are fraud
  • 300,000 people, over the age of 65 are victims of scammers every year in the UK
  • A third of elderly people are too ashamed to ask for help
  • In 2018, alone, 49,000 elderly people reported being scammed – the equivalent of 6 new cases every hour
  • Elderly people are 54 times more likely to be victim of computer scams than they are to be physically robbed
  • Almost 5 million people aged 65 and over believe they have been targeted by scammers

Although anyone can fall victim to fraud, the elderly can sometimes be susceptible to certain vulnerabilities such as living alone, lacking familiarity on the web or even suffering from dementia. All factors can make them a likely target to scammers. So, educating the public is as crucial as ever, particularly as 90% of all crimes committed against the over 65s are fraud-related.

With a quarter of over 75s using tablets and more internet users over the age of 60 than ever before, people between the ages of 65-74 year old’s are 54 times more likely to be a victim of computer scams than they are to be physically robbed.

In 2018, alone, 49,000 elderly people reported being scammed – that’s around 6 new cases every hour. And 43% of people aged 65 and over – almost five million people – believe they have been targeted by scammers. Scammers can use many ways to target people, including over the phone, the post, via the internet or face-to-face.

With a third of elderly people too ashamed to ask for help, Equifax has devised this educational infographic which offers top tips and advice to help you or a loved one stay safe online; including what you can do if you’ve been a victim of a scam and the signs to look out for if you suspect someone you know/ care for is being scammed. It’s estimated that millions of elderly people have been victims of fraud, but they haven’t reported it.  

The latest research shows that over the last 12 months, approximately 2,400 monthly average searches were made around the term ‘email scams’ compared to 1,600 searches made the previous year.

Searches are also increasing around the terms ‘phone scams’ and ‘tv license scams’. With curiosity growing around this topic it is important to educate the public to minimise the chances of falling victim.

You can view the full infographic here: https://www.equifax.co.uk/resources/identity_protection/older-people-and-scams.html

Sources

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Reassure scam avoidance: https://vimeo.com/332479974

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2017/rise-social-seniors

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44629881

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45590333

Kantar TNS Research Express polling for Age UK, June/July 2017 – sample of 1,367 people aged 65+ in GB

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44629881

About Equifax

Equifax is a global data, analytics, and technology company. We believe knowledge drives progress. We blend unique data, analytics, and technology with a passion for serving customers globally, to create insights that power decisions to move people forward. Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX.

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